HomeBead PatternsJewellery Enameling Suggestions: Counter Enamel Various, Liquid Enamels, Mixing Colours, Simple Sifting...

Jewellery Enameling Suggestions: Counter Enamel Various, Liquid Enamels, Mixing Colours, Simple 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 bought hooked on liquid enamels. Within the class, we tried strategies 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 coloration 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 pink, yellow, and blue liquid enamel powders, as a result of all colours might be created from these three main colours, in addition to black and white. I bought 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 ultimate for sgraffito, wherein you fireplace a layer, paint on a layer of a special coloration 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 way of the scratched design for a really creative impact. I carved some swirls and “love” into dried white liquid enamel on a layer of fired pink on this piece, clearly impressed by Susan’s sgraffito “love” ring.

It’s essential to let the liquid layer(s) dry totally earlier than scratching in them. We sat our items on and across the sizzling kiln throughout class to assist the liquids dry extra totally and rapidly. Then the liquids develop into a strong, 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 making an attempt out crackle enamels throughout Susan’s class as nicely. 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 cheerful accident to get that webby sample–I’m wondering if I’ll ever be capable to re-create this look?

stamp enamel designsWe tried moist packing enamel, etching lotions, and utilizing enamel crayons in Susan’s class as nicely. I used to be impressed to attempt rubber stamping a design on fired enamel and sprinkling enamel powders onto it, with the dye ink performing 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 should utilize Ice Resin on the again of enameled items in lieu of counter enamel. That is tremendous helpful for a number of causes. I discover it troublesome 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 indicate and be preserved whereas additionally offering assist to the enameled piece. And at last, as a result of I not often keep 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 bought the entrance the best way I need it to be. However then, as a result of I concern ruining it in the course of 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 understand 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 understand these little pink enamel sifters that appear to be mesh-bottom pink cups with a twisted wire deal with? For higher management when sifting, attempt holding the wire deal with together with your thumb and center finger and scratch alongside the wire together with your pointer finger nail, backwards and forwards. Every little scratch causes the tiniest sifting of enamel powders to fall by way of the mesh, so it’s a gradual, even sifting course of that works so nicely for me. After 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 too can rub a pencil or one thing related over the wire, however that takes two palms, so it’s not my favourite approach.

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 all the time simply assumed everybody used them that method. However now that so many individuals have requested me about that approach, I figured it was time to share! Attempt 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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