Thursday, May 07, 2009

Enamel on Silver Metal Clay

I've been back to playing with enamel on metal clay -- gotta get glass in there, right?

Things I've learned so far (not necessarily all recently):

1) Regular photopolymer plate impressions on silver clay are a good depth for enameling: not too shallow, but not too deep. The silver design stays raised or even with the enamel.

2) Sliding enameled pieces supported on a sheet of mica into a hot kiln results in any trapped air within the mica suddenly expanding and the enamel granules flying off the silver! Stick with a trivet or use long stainless steel hemostats to place the pieces on a shelf.

3) Several layers of enamel give a richer look than one thin, faint layer.

4) Transparent blues and greens look fabulous on bare silver clay, but red and yellow are a different matter. Yuck!

5) More experience with the Little Torch lets me get in and out quickly to draw beads on Argentium silver wires next to enamel with no discoloration.

6) Photographing enamel is hard! The lights have to be just right for accurate representation of the transparency, gloss and color of enamel on silver.