Monday, February 22, 2010

The Enameling Process

Someone wanted to know about the enameling process. Well, there is alot to it even though it looks easy, it can be a real pain in the %$#&!
I start by getting my design and cutting it out of the copper with my metal saw. I only broke a couple of blades this time lol Then take it to the Dremel and sand the edges. Then finally file the edges to get it exactly how I want the shape and so they won't cut someone's fingers off.
Next I take it to the work bench for the enameling. I clean it all off so no oils are on the copper- oils and enameling don't mix. When Cleaned in acid, it gets a dusting of enamel-aka-ground up glass. Put it in the kiln till it reaches the orange peal stage, back out to cool and then back in with more glass to the smooth stage. Usually one or two more fireings are done and then the fire scale has to be removed. Putting metal in the kiln turns all exposed parts black. You have to remove it all with a file, scotch bright or what have you- there are many ways to do that. Then the enameled metal has to be strung on the chain after you put on the jump rings or you can solder on a pin back.
The necklaces will be in the shop when I get around to getting the fire scale off them and putting them on a necklace. :-) I love enameling but it's alot of work !!