Getting ready for enamel

The process of enameling is one that intrigues me.  It feels like an alchemical experience.

Step 1: decide on the metal to use. In my current work, that is copper.

Step 2: decide on a shape.  Round, square, rectangular.  Big? Small? In between? 

The shape will also determine the final use – earrings, pendant, bracelet, cuff…

The bench, with some shapes in the works.

Step 3: Make sure the metal is clean by putting it into a pickle solution, then scrubbing with a brass brush and cleanser.

Earrings in the pickle.

Step 4 is the beginning of the fun!

Picking a color, prepping the piece with an adhesive spray, and sifting the color on.

Earrings ready for enamel.

And now comes the alchemical part…

I set the piece up carefully on wire mesh on a fireproof stainless steel trivet (it’s actually quite small), and ignite the torch.