Tuesday, November 10, 2009

TT - Enamelling (again!)

I mentioned a while back that we did some torch enamelling at the JAR this year. So its been on my mind a lot lately.

These samplers were not done at the retreat, nor were they torched, these are my little play pieces done in my new kiln (a few months back). Nothing fancy, but the enamel 'stuck' and I got some varied colors and different techniques (such that they are...)

Enamelling is one of those things that is both easy and very difficult.

I think it depends on the technique you decide to go with.

There is torch firing, kiln firing, sgraffito, cloisonne and Champlevé, Basse-taille, Grisaille, Taille d'epargne, Plique-à-jour....there are 'additives' or inclusions such as mesh, wire, frits, metallic dust...you can paint, draw, scratch, grin, etc.

And all of it is a 'world' unto itself. People who are good at enamelling have invested a lot of time into learning about glass and test firing, making color charts/samplers, etc.

It is relatively easy to do simple torched pieces, but its very difficult to do work the likes of forum member Angela Gerhard. I was really happy to have Angela stop by the forum and discuss her work with us as I've been a huge fan of hers for quite some time. Angela's work consists of a lot of 'sgraffito'. Sgraffito is a technique that uses 'drawing' through the ground enamels to reveal layers of enamel or surface metal below - and can be used to create drawings, patterns, blocks of color, etc. Angela wrote a project article in the July 2009 Art Jewelry Magazine (issue #29) titled: Scribble into Enamels -- Sgraffito Revealed which is a great read.

I've posted an enamelling tutorial (forge and fuse - love this one!) before, and here are some more:

Intro to enamelling by Copperheart

Sharing - Mary-Lee Rae (TONS of info and pictures)

Cloisonne technique by Jane Cather

Applying images to enamel by Andrea Oda

Enamelling on metal clay by Jean Vormelker (and Lilyan Bachrach )

And here are some of my inspirations for trying enamelling:

Angela Gerhard

Kimberly Keyworth (and on google images)

Steff Korsage

Shana Kroiz

and JS Ellington, who is sadly no longer producing jewelry.

There are more, but I don't have links right now. If you love enamelling or have an enamellist that inspires you - leave a link or name in the comments please!

And I guess this qualifies as Tutorial Tuesday. So YAY! (quick change of post title and insert graphic...)


I haven't made anything in a while and I've been out of touch because our kitchen is gutted presently - the floor is almost done and then the cabinets will go back in - but it will be a while yet until I have my computer at home so I'm not online as much. And I wasn't able to access my studio for several days due to the flooring - grrrrrrr - I can get down there tonight but then won't be able to do so for another 2 days (at most) but after that we should be ok. Sooooo, I hope to have some work done tonight - I have several pieces in progress, though two were left in the pickle (not feeling really confident about that) - so hopefully I can finish those and maybe take a couple of photos.

In other news, my daughter was admitted to the hospital last night for an infection - is on IV antibiotics and they may need to lance/drain the abcess - will know more later. If you are a praying person - lift her up please - we'd appreciate it!

Hugs all!



  1. Thanks for the links to the tutorials! Enameling is something else on my "I want to try that!" list.

  2. Wow what a timely post! I have just started getting back into enamelling too and I'm dipping my toes into torch fired enamelling, having only previously done kiln fired enamelling. Thankyou for the links!

  3. Thanks for the info, as always. I haven't ventured into enamels yet....not sure if I will. But I really enjoyed your insights on the process.

    I hope your daughter recovers quickly and I will keep her in my prayers. Wishing both of you all the best.