HomeBead PatternsJewellery Enameling Suggestions: Counter Enamel Different, Liquid Enamels, Mixing Colours, Straightforward Sifting...

Jewellery Enameling Suggestions: Counter Enamel Different, Liquid Enamels, Mixing Colours, Straightforward Sifting & Extra | Jewellery


I simply obtained my order of liquid enamels, and I can’t wait to get began mixing colours! In a “past fundamentals” enameling class with Susan Lenart Kazmer at Bead Fest,  I acquired hooked on liquid enamels. Within the class, we tried methods like sgraffito, crackle enamel, and creating kiln-fired enameled designs with a number of layers of liquid enamel–whilst a lot as a dozen or extra layers and firings.

ABOVE: Melted glass beads add colour and texture to enameled jewellery.

liquid enamel colors

Liquid Enamel

I like that I can combine customized colours of liquid enamel by mixing the liquids and use a number of layers to create shading and dimension in my designs. I’ve chosen to start out with purple, yellow, and blue liquid enamel powders, as a result of all colours will be created from these three main colours, in addition to black and white. I acquired a bag of small, clear plastic containers with lids (much like what condiments are available at eating places) for only a few {dollars} and a pack of 48 kids’s paint brushes for even much less. I can combine up as many colours as I need utilizing some mixture of these three colours (and purified water), and retailer them away of their lidded containers to be used later. In the event that they dry up, I realized in Susan’s class, I can simply add extra water to reconstitute them. Liquid enamels really feel like watercolor paints to me, and I’m so enthusiastic about their potentialities!

liquid enamel sgraffitoLiquid enamels are additionally superb for sgraffito, wherein you hearth a layer, paint on a layer of a unique colour of liquid enamel, enable it to dry, and scratch phrases or designs into the dry liquid enamel. After firing, the colour of the primary layer beneath comes by means of the scratched design for a really inventive impact. I carved some swirls and “love” into dried white liquid enamel on a layer of fired purple on this piece, clearly impressed by Susan’s sgraffito “love” ring.

It’s vital to let the liquid layer(s) dry totally earlier than scratching in them. We sat our items on and across the scorching kiln throughout class to assist the liquids dry extra totally and rapidly. Then the liquids turn out to be a stable, agency layer that’s simple to scratch in. We used these little rubbery old-school nasal aspirators to blow away the surplus dry liquid enamel as we scratched and carved our designs in it.

crackle enamel designCrackle Enamel

I actually loved attempting out crackle enamels throughout Susan’s class as effectively. If you happen to learn my Bead Fest recap, you’ve already seen this cool piece that I actually love. It’s simply two layers of crackle clear on naked copper adopted by a layer of black, all kiln fired. Such a contented accident to get that webby sample–I’m wondering if I’ll ever be capable of re-create this look?

stamp enamel designsWe tried moist packing enamel, etching lotions, and utilizing enamel crayons in Susan’s class as effectively. I used to be impressed to strive rubber stamping a design on fired enamel and sprinkling enamel powders onto it, with the dye ink appearing like a glue to carry the powder in place for firing. It really works like a dream.

Enamel with Resin

Right here’s one other enjoyable tip I realized from Susan at Bead Fest: You need to use Ice Resin on the again of enameled items in lieu of counter enamel. That is tremendous useful for a number of causes. I discover it tough to get the counter-enameled again trying respectable and freed from marks from the trivet whereas the entrance of my piece additionally seems like I need it to–you too? Additionally, the again of my enameled items usually develop actually lovely warmth patinas, particularly within the kiln. Overlaying that patina with a layer of resin will enable these attractive colours to point out and be preserved whereas additionally offering help to the enameled piece. And eventually, as a result of I hardly ever bear in mind to counter enamel the again of my metallic earlier than I start designing on the entrance, I’m confronted with doing it after I’ve acquired the entrance the best way I need it to be. However then, as a result of I worry ruining it through the counter enameling course of, I skip it, set the piece apart due to its fragile state with out counter enamel, and it by no means will get bought or worn. Utilizing robust, clear, torch-free resin as a counter enamel different solves all three of those points.

Lastly, a tip I didn’t even notice was a tip till so many individuals talked about to me that it was new to them–so in case it’s new to you, too, right here goes!

easy sifting for enamelsScratch and Sift

You recognize these little purple enamel sifters that appear like mesh-bottom purple cups with a twisted wire deal with? For higher management when sifting, strive holding the wire deal with along with your thumb and center finger and scratch alongside the wire along with your pointer finger nail, backwards and forwards. Every little scratch causes the tiniest sifting of enamel powders to fall by means of the mesh, so it’s a gradual, even sifting course of that works so effectively for me. Once I maintain the sifter this fashion, I really feel I’ve extra management over the place the powders go, too, versus tapping or shaking the sifter. You may as well rub a pencil or one thing comparable over the wire, however that takes two fingers, so it’s not my favourite method.

I used to be taught to make use of sifters that method throughout a one-day class on the College of Louisiana in Lafayette, the primary time I’d ever tried enameling. I’ve at all times simply assumed everybody used them that method. However now that so many individuals have requested me about that method, I figured it was time to share! Strive it out–hope it’s useful to you!

Tammy Jones
Senior Digital Content material Editor

Initially revealed September 2015. Up to date October 2021.

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