Second Attempt at Enameling – I am getting somewhere

This is the backs of the first two pieces.... These are the backs of the first two attempts at Enameling. I was later told not to use black, but I was not told why? Anyway you can see how the edge sorta looks burned and I am not too happy with the results. I now believe I need more coatings. So that is what I am going to do.

 These are the colors that I used on the back of the 4 pieces These are the counter enamel colors that I am planning on using on the backs of my pieces this time around. There are 4 pieces.

Powdered and drying on top of the kiln

So here you go, I have them powdered and drying on the roof of my little kiln. We will see what will happen. I have covered them even more with the Enamel. The first time around I could not see the metal under, this is the second attempt. I did these over 2 days, I don’t have access to a kiln full time. I share the kiln with our lampworkers in our workshop here. I am teaching young women how to lampwork and soon how to enamel. Anyway, our little kiln is getting a real workout. During the day for 9 hours, it belongs to the lampworkers in our shop, and in the evenings, once it has cooled off and I can remove the lampwork beads it is MINE!! All MINE!!! bahhhhwahhhhh!!! hehe. Anyway….Here is my second group! Which I am rather proud of (I think I said that in the first attempt too, oh well…..)

 This is a very pale pink, it takes more than 2 coating to cover the metal well I know I am rather silly, you will just have to put up with me. Anyway so here is the really light pink.

Drying on top of the kiln Here are all of them sitting on top of the tiny kiln. I do not fire them together for many reasons, some fire fasters I have found, and some slower. So if I do them at least individually I can control better the time. Although I have done two at once, and remove one when it is ready and leave the other to mature or in other words…dry the “glue” out before putting it in the kiln (why it needs to dry I am unsure of, but possibly the coloring of the enamels would change?

This color of pink bubbled up. I am not sure why, but it did. The Black  and Purple did ok. The Blue is like an \ This is after the first firing. The places where I did not apply the enamel well shows, or maybe it is the nature of that color? I am really not that sure about that part. But at least they are started….and it is something you can work with….

After the second Enameling. This is after the second coat. In this picture you cannot tell it, but the light pink has a “ring” in the middle where the copper still shows through, it almost has a transparent quality to it, even though it is an Opaque. I am not sure at this point what to do about the bumpy surface of some colors, I guess this is where the word “stoning” comes to mind. But I am afraid to grind the surface, but from what I understand you grind the surface with a white stone (I have them) Then fire polish them in the kiln or let the surface glass up again….and promptly remove it…I think the counter enameling came out pretty good.

The fronts of the 4 pieces, cleaned up with my shaft tool I have polished the fronts of the copper discs, on the backs is the enameled surface shown above. I probably should be pickling these instead. But it seems easy to me to grind off the firescale that forms with each firing. The rough surface doesn’t seem to bother the Enamel none….

Now on to the fronts!

First firing of the fronts of the copper discs. This is the first firing of the fronts…

Closeup of two \ Closeup of the first two, some Enamel has popped off the edges…not sure why, but also there is firescale coming through on the red one….Once I added the second coating on the red one the firescale became very pitted. I used my shaft tool and a diamond ball to remove it, I ground it down to the copper, but only in the spots where it was black, then I filled those in with enamel using a tiny spoon. Fired it and it came out pretty good overall….that was my fix.

  Closeup, you can really see the firescale good…and it got alot worst, it looked like it had some kind of disease once I got the second coat on. I had to grind it down and fix it up…which worked. So another lesson learned…

 Closeup of the pink, this pink is darker than the other side which is a softer pink color. The fronts of these are all different colors than the backs….this pink is darker and seems more difficult to me. This one came out alot better once I put on the second coating (forgot to fotograph it)….but it worked well once I got the second layer on…There is a girl in college that goes by copperheart that said that 3 layers is usually what works best for her….So next time I am going to try that…

I am going to close this post for now. I will have more pictures soon!


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One Response to “Second Attempt at Enameling – I am getting somewhere”

  1. Randy says:


    I went through similiar trials and tribulations when i was trying to learn enameling….the reason for letting your creation dry before firing, is because, it’s wet, or damp and water boils….way before enamel melts….and as a result the water boiling would disrupt the powdered enamel.