Saturday, August 11, 2012

I've been working with new tools and incorporating with enamel.  Chasing and repousse.  Chasing is the art of  hammering on the top surface to define the design and repousse is hammering from the back of the piece to create volume.  I love hammering the metal and creating new designs.  Sometimes it is a matter of just seeing how high I can stretch the sterling silver.  I then work on the defining of the design using chasing tools to undercut and really define the edges.

I then depletion guild the sterling silver to bring fine silver to the surface so I can enamel it. I have to add any findings (ie: pin backs) soldered with hard solder before I enamel.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Oxnard Gem & Material Class

I've now had my 2nd class teaching enameling at the Oxnard Gem & Mineral Society at Durley Park. I've got 7 students with 0 background and they tell me they are loving it. The first class we just learned sifting enamel and cleaning copper. The 2nd class we did experimentation on copper. I had my students clean the full piece then put klyre fire on 1/2 the piece of copper followed by sifting flux over the klyr fire and making sure the flux was cleared off the other half. We warmed it up on top of the kiln to burn off the moisture, then placed the pieces into the kiln at 1350 deg.F for 90 seconds.

Next I had them place flux over the burned side of the copper and refire.

They loved what they got.

The next class is next week and we will be starting on fine silver and cloisonne.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

losing sleep

OMG, now that I have a facepage and facebook and a blog that's all I am dreaming about. Maybe there is such a thing as too much???
I do enjoy sharing my ideas though.
In addition to working in enamel I have been teaching at the Oxnard Gem & Mineral Society. I am teaching my students (adults) beginning enameling and we are working on precut patterns in copper. It's exciting.

Friday, March 19, 2010


Now I am working on a new project using vitreous enamel. Last summer I experimented using enamel with oil in a silkscreening project and really loved it. I'm taking a course in silkscreening at the local college so I can learn more and better understand the technique.

The design is burned into a screen. I use vitreous enamel that is ground very fine and then mix it with an organic oil such as olive oil or lavender oil, and then the enamel is squeegeed through the screen onto the enameled steel plate or copper plate. It is then placed into the kiln at 1400 deg F for approx. 3 minutes. The size of this piece is 2 ft x 4 ft.

I love how this looks.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Plique-a-jour enamel

Plique-a-jour is a technique that looks like stained glass. It is glass, but a different form. The enamel is a powdered glass ground to a fine grit and then through capillary action applied to a fine silver frame.

Enamel... What is it?

Enamel...... What is it? Well, it isn't fingernail polish nor is it the paint one uses on walls and furniture or miniature cars and airplanes.

It is vitreous (glass). And it is finely ground and sifted or painted onto a pure metal surface. copper, fine silver and gold are used.

This piece is the cloisonne technique and requires the usage of fine silver wires to create cells to add the enamel.