Many people don’t realize quite how many steps are involved in making my enamel pieces.
First I take plain copper and heat it in my kiln. This cleans all the grease off it.
Here’s the before shot.
Here’s the copper in the kiln.
Here’s the copper after heating. It’s a bit dirty looking, that’s oxidation and needs to be cleaned off. When I clean metal I use salt and vinegar rather than chemicals.
If I’m making domed pieces this is the time to form them. The heat of the kiln makes the metal softer and easier to bend. I used a dapping block, dapping punches and rawhide hammer to shape them into curved domes. After doming they need to be cleaned again.
Then I fire a layer of enamel onto the bottom/back of the copper. These will be bezel set so the backs are plain. If I’m doing regular pieces I always make sure both sides are attractive.
My kiln is nice and hot. This shows the temperature at 1433 Fahrenheit but I often fire at higher temperatures than that.
After firing the backs I sift enamel, which is very finely ground glass, onto the top/front.
This is after one firing.
This is after several firings. You can see how much smoother and brighter the colours are. These are ready to be set, they just need a bit of filing at the edges where the enamel stuck to the trivets (the metal stands I use for firing).
The little domes are now earrings!
And the big domes are necklaces! Pretty!