Friday, April 13, 2012

Getting back to enameling.

I am working on some fine silver and using a transparent white.  But first I must put on a flux.  Tricky stuff!  I am really excited about this long as I can find a consistent end result.  The focus of this post will be on testing to get the flux to fire clear.

(***It is VERY hard to photograph white on silver on white...sorry about the picture quality.  I did the best I could.)

The pieces I am using as all old scrap pieces...that I will recycle someday...but for now...I am using them as a testing ground.  So in other words...I am not working on the design of a particular piece...just the color outcome.

I am using an unfamiliar brand of enamel.  I started experimenting yesterday with 3 test pieces.  I fired them on 1450...which was obviously too high, because they came out YELLOW...Yuck!    The below picture is with 2 coats of flux and 1 coat of trans. white.  The white is an ugly color because it is touching the silver...which is a no-no!!  But trust me under the white is an ugly yellow flux!!!

I am not concerned about the orangy-brown on the surface of the silver(as this will be stoned off)...just the recessed areas.  Did not get the clarity I was looking for...So I decided to start over and lower the temperature. Below is a pic of what the piece looks like after before it's fired.  THIN LAYERS!!!  

1st coat fired at 1400 for 2.00 minutes. Result: came out clear but not all the way melted...I would say just a tad bit after the     orange peel stage. Put a second coat of flux on piece.  (See pic below)

2nd firing @ 1420 for 2.00 minutes.  Result: came out clear but again not all the way I put in again for another minute...a little better.  Not a coat of enamel this time.
3rd firing at 1425 for 3.15 minutes.  Result: Came out clear and 95 % melted!!
I will put one one more coat and fire a little longer and a tad bit hotter.
4th firing at 1430 for 3.45 minutes.  Result: Perfectly Beautiful!!! (see picture below)

Don't forget to wick, dry and tap your pieces BEFORE you fire them.

I really, really, really think the "secret" to clear enameling is THIN COATS.  I can't stress this enough!!!!

And there ya go!!  These tests are a good starting point for any enamelist!!
Good Luck on your journey!!  and Happy Tax day!!!  Taxes are due on Tuesday...UGH!!!:-(

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Silver Spoon Ring.

I have never made a silver spoon ring.  I thought it was time!  So I hopped on Ebay and looked for a pretty sterling silver spoon.  You can use plated spoons...but I am more familiar with sterling, so I thought I would just stick with that.

This is not a great picture of my cute little spoon...but you get the idea!!  I adore this spoon/pattern.  It's the King Edward pattern, made by Gorham Silver, 1936.  I like it so much I wonder if I should cut it up at all???
The process of making a spoon ring is pretty easy.  There are many tutorials on making them, so I won't bore you with writing another one.  Here is a great tutorial on the process.
Have fun!