After I wrote about my newfound love of brass a few weeks back, I was amazed at how many persons commented, “I didn’t know you could enamel upon brass! ” Well, I didn’t understand you couldn’t enameled surface on brass. Therefore I did, and it worked only fine. For myself, enameling on metal was no different than enameling upon copper. (I torch-fire my enamel jewelry, though. Maybe that makes a difference? I don’t believe it would, although not having tried this in a kiln, and I can’t state without a doubt. ) I was also amazed and ever-so-happy to see how a lot of you were prompted to try torch enameling after that. I actually can’t tell you ways happy that makes me, mainly because I love LIKE torch enameling today, and I desire everyone to jump on that comfy train beside myself.
how to torch enamel jewelry?
In case you have not tried torch enameling yet, you intimidated. For me, this appears the most challenging part gets much comfier with working, therefore jointly with a flame-intimately, even, since it’s right before your face (and let’s not make-believe, looks are fairly dang essential parts). It’s a reasonably big flame, as well, not a very little flame-like this of a tiny torch, though in case you solder, you’re already comfy around the open fire. I made close friends with the light pretty fast and learned additional lessons along with the method. I hope they will be useful to you.
8 Step torch fired enamel jewelry tutorial
- Talking about the torch and fire, I’ve used both MAPP gas and propane in the short-and-wide wide “fat boy” canisters that are shaped to ensure that they can operate by themselves. (You will see that I keep mine on a large metal tray. Much like for soldering, you need to have a fireproof workspace for torch enameling. If molten glass or metal drops from the flame, or quickly cut a bit, I’m enameling off my mandrel, and it’ll land upon this metal tray rather than burn the home down.) You could utilize brackets and such to add canisters to your projects table. I heard that propane isn’t hot enough for enameling and may cause “muddy” or dull enamel colors, but I didn’t experience that. I haven’t been a too picky though-for example, and I haven’t tried to enamel anything substantial white or solid yellow, which will be the colors I think will be most vulnerable to getting “muddy.” Honestly, even within my earliest experiments with enamels, I didn’t see anything I thought was muddy or ugly. It’s like whenever a little kid enables you to art-it’s all gorgeous!
- Mandrels are important. You will want these queries variety of sizes because undoubtedly your beads will possess an array of holes. I purchased some small mandrels from Barbara Lewis’s Painting with Open fire Studio, and We bought some larger-diameter rods at a hardware store and cut these to manageable lengths. You will want metal because it will not conduct heat and won’t get popular in your hands. My steel equipment is threaded (such a screw) and unthreaded; the strings help to maintain things from moving off, but usually, they can also hold enamel in them and make it harder to remove the beans. Kind of like metalsmiths always upon the lookout about more hammers, Now I am still trying to find more mandrels, natures that are shaped just correct with tapered ends that aren’t smooth. I have an old awl gown the best. Therefore far-it’s defaced and tapered deliberately, which usually helps it suit snugly into the holes of no matter what I’m enameling. Someplace I acquired an extended nail (we’re discussing 8 in . long-where on earth do it result from? ) that also the actual correct mandrel.
- When you get enamels, make color check chips on the waste of metal. I glued my small test chips best onto the clothes of the teeth enamel jars. Make your own inside your studio, using your torch, below your lighting and working conditions. This usually is the only method to know what color each one can indeed be to your eyes, and even then, discover a little different according to the teeth enamel layers, the steel you’re enameling upon, and the placement from the moon when you’re enameling. (Of course, that last one just isn’t true, or can it be? Occasionally that’s the just answer! ) Utilize the sort of metal you are going to most often end up being enameling (copper, silver precious metal, brass, iron, and so on. ) for your test chips. If you put more than enough layers with an enameled piece, the type and color of metal beneath finally won’t make much difference (silver vs. copper, and so on. ) unless you aren’t using transparent enamels. Then the steel color does display through some. Usually, it can even be an attractive design component, as I stated before with every the translucent crimson I enameled on to the brass, creating a look of flower gold.
- If you are using transparent enamels,it is also smart to make a test chip on a scrap of whatever metal you’re enameling on when you commence a project. You do not always understand how the metal changes in the heat through the enameling process (turn dark with fire scale, form colorful flame patinas, etc.). It could turn icky, or it could be lovely. Either way, it’ll be evident through your transparent glass.
- Remember to uncover what metal your beads or other elements are created from when you would like to enamel on them. The majority of those purchased in bead and craft stores are something-plated pewter or aluminum, both that will melt faster than snow in Louisiana when you put it in the flame. Then you’ll end up getting a splat, like the one on the left, which used to be a pretty cool charm. Solid copper, brass, iron, and silver will hold up to the heat and enamel nicely.
- We are wrong and usually never put them on, but in this case, I put on them. When you are working with an unknown metallic, it can ignite and pop and shoot out small flaming bits in every direction. If you’re also dealing with molten glass. Best in front of your face. Put on safety glasses. Obtain it done. Intended for real. Please?
- Safety gloves aren’t a poor idea. Talking regarding safety, it’s great to remember that you’re dealing with powdered glass that, when torched, turns into a real spectacle that, if it gets pulled during the torching process, may become long glass needles. In my early experimentations (however, not now, because I understand better now. ), quickly got an excessive amount of enamel in the bead hole. Looking to get that bead off the mandrel, although it was still molten, would pull an extended glass needle, much like what lampworkers call stringers. You can burn, break, and sand them off; in any event, you’ll probably conclude with tiny shards of glass. So as it pertains to time to clean up your enameling workstation thoroughly, gloves aren’t a bad idea. I don’t believe I’d recommend them during enameling if you don’t get snug-fitting fireproof ones.
- Keep a metal plate of water nearby. Use metal, and even glass, however, not plastic. Don’t ask me how I understand that. (But I gamble you can guess!) Keep in mind that you perform not quench enameled pieces after enameling-definitely don’t because that rapid cooling can shock them and make the just-turned-glass crack and most likely fall off. But the water is essential for other reasons-to quench heated metal if you see it’s going to melt before you enamel it.
These types of are a few of the trial-and-error lessons I’ve discovered while Seems discovering the fabulous globe of torch enameling, also, but that goes without saying.)
They will are some of the trial-and-error lessons I’ve learned while I’ve been discovering the fabulous globe of torch enameling. Seriously, I do not say enough about how precisely much I appreciate it, and I inspire everyone with great small interest to verify it out. Besides making beautiful jewelry, you can watch the magic happen before your eyes. (Your safety-glass-covered eyes, right? See #6 above.) Torch-fired enameling is entirely hands-on, letting you feel just like you’re not merely making jewelry, but you’re creating art.
You probably currently have the torch, which means you just need enamels and some small tools, like mandrels. We caused Barbara to make a beautiful assortment of enameling tools and supplies, which we’ve paired with her expert resources for just two fantastic enameling kits.
In the essential enameling kit, you’ll receive Barbara’s books, Torch-Fired Enamel Jewelry, and Mastering Torch-Fired Enamel Jewelry. Both filled with detailed instruction and so many beautiful enamel earrings project tutorials (just like the ones shown here), and also essential torch-fired enamel tools and supplies hand-picked by Barbara, including enamel powders, brass stampings, iron filigree beads, an enamel basket, and some mandrels. It includes everything you need to get started torch enameling, except for your torch! And if you’re a true enameling fan like I am, you may get the deluxe kit, which includes everything above and also two torch-fired enameling DVDs and Barbara’s patented bead-pulling station. Get the equipment that’s right for you, and then join me in having so much fun with torch-fired enameling!