Friday, 15 August 2014

Enamelling part 1

 A while ago I acquired a kiln but I never really got around to using it for enamelling. In the last few weeks I thought I would give it a go, so I did some research on technique (I love YouTube) and fired it up. The first picture shows my first attempts at enamelling on Silver. One thing I learnt is you need to use Fine Silver which is 99.9% pure, if you use Sterling the small amount of Copper in the metal comes to the surface as black firestain when it is fired preventing the glass from adhering to it. This meant I needed to buy new raw materials and special solder. My first efforts shown below were on prepared blanks and turned out really nicely.

1st attempts

The piece I am now working on is far more ambitious  and will involve a technique called Plique-à-jour (French for "letting in daylight"). A framework of Silver is constructed and the gaps between the spars are filled with enamel creating a stained glass window effect. the photo below shows the early stages of the construction, it still needs more spars to added and the whole piece needs to be cleaned and tidied up before any glass can be added.

Silver wing framework
I will of course be adding more pictures as I work on the piece.

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