Enamel Problems – Part 2

Here’s part two of my enamel problem saga. Read part 1 if you need to catch up. I started reading Linda Darty’s book. Thompson’s emailed back with a cryptic response – “Too much enamel, no counter enamel.” Various Google searches on enamel problems also alluded to this thing called counter enamel, that is after I sorted through the tooth enamel problem search results.

So, I tried to read what I could about counter enamel. It is enamel applied to the underside of a piece. And I didn’t feel like I’d found any one place that explained the whole story on counter enamel. There were snippets that I tried to piece together in my mind. But I had these questions:

  1. If I had problems getting enamel to stick to one side of the problem pieces, how in the world would I get it to stick to two?
  2. Did I torch fire it all at once? If so, what kept the enamel from falling off the bottom side?
  3. If I did it one side at a time, what kept the enamel from sticking to the screen I was using for firing?

After more searching, I found this tutorial from Copperheart that explained quite a bit. I also found this photo tutorial from Rubygirl Jewelry that help immensely too.

I bravely pushed forward, realizing I couldn’t use the screen for the second firing, I needed a metal trivet.

I got one. I fired plain enamel on the back of the little flower pieces, pickled them, brass brushed them. I then fired the flower design on the front using the trivet and holding the torch underneath the pieces.

The result, burnt bottoms.

Burnt Bottoms

This is when you sigh, or say s@#!, or get a drink. And then delve back into the books, and Google some more, and keep at it.

It does get better – stay tuned.

2/15/11 update – here’s the link to some enamel solutions.

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