Thursday, November 4, 2010

November Meeting and Torch-Fired Enameling Workshop

Thanks so much to Mimi (hostest with the mostest), Amy, Lucia, Ellen, Sandra, Karen, Peggy, Caroline and Dana (me!) for coming to today's get-together. It was so fun to chat and create together!!

Our enameling setup: after spraying pieces with Klyr-Fire, we sifted enamel onto our copper pieces. Sifters were handmade. Buy a length of 3/4"-1" diameter polycarbonate tubing and cut into 3/4" long sections. Glue gun one end/edge to 40-mesh steel screening and cut away excess screening. Glue gun 4" long dowel (any diameter will do- I used 3/16") for a handle and you're good to go!

Pieces cooling by Sandra, Lucia, Peggy and Ellen. Great vibrant colors! We used opaque enamels on copper due to firescale caused by heating. Another option is to use opaque white (or another color) as a base firing and then add layers of transparent enamel on top. When using fine sterling as a base metal, transparents or opaques may be used. Sterling silver needs to be depletion gilded before using. The trivet is key for counterenameling- firing with enamel on both sides.

Some work by Peggy- a new member. Gorgeous use of casted components!

Lucia and her loyal companion watch Ellen try "painting" with wet enamels.

Top pieces by Lucia- she used a variety of colors sifted onto her copper cut-out charms. Bottom piece by Dana using sgraffito. Forming the metal (doming, bending) adds strength which helps reduce cracking of enamel. Many of the pieces made were counterenameled.

More charms made by Lucia.

Varigated acorn charm made by Karen using multiple colors and firings. Magnifique!

More work by Karen- earring daggers also using a mixture of colors. Stages of firing include sugar-fire, orange-peel, and full fuse.

Peggy's piece heating up directly on trivet from underneath.

Dana embedded wire loops and seed beads with a second enamel color into the base color.

Some "leftover" pieces by Ellen. How industrial chic!!

Pooped out from a morning of enameling! Thanks all who came - such a fun morning!!