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Monday, October 5, 2009

Lots of Enameling Questions and Thoughts

So… I wanted to finally try enameling. Not the kind I'd done before (on glass beads), but on metal… like my own metal creations.

So this weekend I made some bronze bases that I will try enameling on. I know copper is more traditional, but is there a REASON bronze wouldn't work just as well? I will research this before trying it. (ETA: So far, the only reason I could come up with for not preferring to enamel on bronze is that the translucent enamels might get cloudy… but I think that was if there's zinc in the alloy… if it's just 90% copper and 10% tin, this might not happen anyway. Now, seeing as how I favor the opaques, I'm going to continue on with my experimenting.

Here, btw, is a photo I took of one pair of earrings that came out of the kiln this morning. The photo is with my phone… I'll take a much better photo before listing these (unless I decided to experiment with them instead of sell them).

It's a small(ish) photo because I was trying to make the picture the same size as the earrings.

But while we're on the subject, I'll ask a question: will a fixed sized photo be the same size on everyone's monitor? Like, if the beads in those earrings are 1¾ inches tall and I make my jpg so that on MY computer, the earring beads in the photo measure 1¾ inches on my monitor… will they ever be NOT 1¾ inches on someone's monitor?

Anyway, back to enameling… I did want to try torch enameling prior to kiln enameling for two reasons. One, I didn't want to ramp my kiln all the way up to 1500 for a few minutes of work at a time… and two, I really need to be able to SEE the enamel so I can get a feel for how long to fire it.

I was happy to see that my Messermeister culinary torch goes up to 2700 degrees. That's what they say, anyway. Shrug. Maybe a little kitchen torch is okay for tiny pieces. We'll see.

Some basic questions I have about enameling probably seem ridiculous to seasoned enamellers, but they are just things I either don't get or want to be sure of.

Like… you do multiple sets of coating/firing. If you're not doing counter-enameling, do you just leave the back side black until after the final firing or do you have to clean it between each firing?

Also, if different enamel colors require different firing times, then I'm assuming you don't put all your colors on and fire them all at once, right? But you also can't do each one separately because when you go to fire color 2, you'll be messing up color 1, won't you?

1 comment:

  1. Answering your question on size of photos on different monitors..... The answer is no, they won't necessarily be the same size. You can check this out by changing your monitor resolution settings and seeing how it effects your picture. (To change monitor settings: Right click on the desktop. Select 'Personalize' or 'Settings', then select 'Display Settings'. Change your resolution and click 'Apply'.) Without closing the settings window click on the web page with your picture to view it in that resolution. Change settings to the hightest and lowest and see how it effects your pic. (Note: I'm using Windows Vista and can't remember off the top of my head the commands for other Windows operating systems.)