slightly glowing trivets & molten glass = luscious color...

....and oh, so much fun in the studio....

After a long hiatus (from blogging & metalworking) I have found myself enameling again. And am I ever smitten with it. Using a piping hot kiln to create vibrant colors on fine silver is an exciting process. Could you possibly think of a better accent for a design based on line and shape? I simply can not.

For those of you who haven't enameled before you may be curious as to what tools are used, so that is where I will start. They don't make for a pretty picture so those folks who enamel are going to have to wait for the good stuff. The good stuff being my finished piece.

Here are the sifters which the dry enamel is placed in. The sifter is filled so when you tap the handle a generous amount will cover your piece to be enameled. Brushes are also handy to have nearby for removing enamel which has lost it's way. I also use a brush to apply the gum agar which is like an adhesive. It is applied before the enamel creating a sticky surface that will hold the enamel versus naked metal which the enamel would slide off of. 

I enamel on old magazine pages. They are nice and smooth so the excess enamel easily runs off the page and back into your enamel packet for future enameling adventures. I find some of the pages inspiring as the colors are bold and you come across the occasional advertisement which strikes a chord.

My domed discs are carefully arranged on my handmade props. They are now ready for that piping hot kiln I was talking about. And when I take a peek into the kiln and see that the trivet is a dull red, I know that the enamel will have taken on a glassy sheen.

An apple green glassy sheen in this case. These domes will become earrings which are a compositional study of color, shape and line.

I had also used some mica to enamel on and it didn't behave. The mica stuck to my piece, causing me to take my discs over to the flex shaft bench and use some abrasive wheels to remove the flakes of mica. Seems that my handmade props worked best for this situation. After the grinding I need to fill the spaces with some enamel so I used the wet packing method. You can see my teensy spatula and palate which make wet packing easy.

Back into the piping hot kiln, this time on my props. I don't think I knew what shape these earrings were going to take, even at this point. 

Out came lots of pliers and wooden rods. I played around with these tools and some silver wire with the end balled up and this is what came out of it....
 tendril earrings

I promise they can be worn, easily, and you will never lose them while they are on. They are really fun earrings. I can't wait for them to make their debut at Craftland's holiday sale. They have some family members too which need a little more work. I will share them as soon as they have cooled. 

P.S. this post has been updated. Click on the photo if you are interested in buying them from my shop!