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Enamelling



If you would be interested in attending enamelling workshops at Cromartie, please pop us an e-mail to register your interest and we will add you to our mailing list to be informed of future events.

Transform your metal jewellery and accessories with our high-quality enamelling powders and enamelling wafers. Our vibrant and long-lasting enamel powders come in a wide range of colours, making it easy to find the perfect shade for your project. Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned enameller, our enamel powders and wafers are easy to use and provide a smooth, even application every time.

Our enamel powders are suitable for use on various metal surfaces, including copper, brass, and silver. They can be used to create stunning and unique jewellery pieces, home decor items, and more.


Enamel Jewellery by Teresa Kent, Lappelli Studio

Create beautiful and vibrant enameled pieces with our enamelling powders. Browse our selection today and find the perfect colour for your next project!

What is Enamelling?

Enameling is the ancient art of melting powdered glass onto metal, for the glass to fully fuse to the metal. For small pieces of jewellery, this fusing process takes approximately 30 seconds -2 minutes however it can take much longer for larger pieces.

Enamelling dates back to ancient Egypt where it was used to decorate objects such as pottery and jewellery. It was also used by the ancient Greeks, Persians, Romans, Celts and Chinese.

In Europe, enamelling made a comeback during the Art Nouveau period with designers such as Fabergé and Lalique favouring the cloisonné and plique-à-jour techniques.

Enamelling in jewellery is a wonderful way to add colour to pieces. Glass fused on metal can produce a range of effects, depending on the metal used, the surface – use of patterns and texturing – and the range of colours, as well as the type of enamel: opaque, clear, transparent or opalescent.


Creating Jewellery with Enamel Powders

What you will need:

  • Enamel powders (available in a choice of colours on our website, in opaque or translucent finishes. Please note, opaque powders are preferable for beginners to enamelling as they allow for more solid coverage.

  • Small 80's mesh sieve or enamel powder sifter, for dusting powder onto copper blanks.

  • Dry cloth/ teatowel

  • Bowl of water (a standard sized washing up bowl is ideal)

  • Sandpaper or abrasive sponge rubber for cleaning.

  • Protective gloves

  • Palette knife

  • Pronged firing fork or firing tongs

  • Small mesh stand

  • U-strip, small wooden block or a small strip of standard stationery staples.

  • Pronged firing stand.

  • Stencils or enamel wafers/chips (as required)



Steps

1) Select your choice of pendant from the range shown. (Our range is copper, however these jewellery powders can also be used on silver and gold.) Use a clean piece of paper to work on. Don't forget to change the paper for every colour of powder used on your piece, to prevent any colour contamination.

2) Clean the surface of the metal with an abrasive rubber to remove any marks or surface oxidasation, then wipe over with a dry cloth.

3) Do not touch the surface with fingers as this may transfer oils from the skin onto the work.

4) Place the work on a small stand for ease of movement, for example a U-strip, small block of wood, or a strip of standard stationery staples. It's useful to place a piece of paper underneath, so any excess powders can be decanted into a container and reused for the backs of your pieces- no wastage!

5) Use a small sieve or enamel powder sifter to apply the enamel. Decant a small amount of enamel powder and tap the edge of the sieve to apply the enamel powder to the surface of the copper blank. This is very much trial and error- however a good rule of thumb is to try to cover the piece so the metal underneath is no longer visible and there is a solid layer of powder covering the blank, but try not to apply too thickly.


You can use a variety of methods to cover your piece, including using stencils to dust the powder in your chosen design. You can also use a variety of colours to create an ombre effect- overlapping the colours slightly on the piece. To add a pop of texture and colour to your piece, you can use enamelling wafers or chips over the surface of the powder, to create a colourful, raised design on your work.
Example of finished enamel jewellery using the stencilling technique

6) Using a palette knife, lift the piece carefully and place on the mesh stand ready for firing in the kiln. Ensure there is no enamel on the opposite side of the piece before doing this, as this will cause it to stick to the mesh.



7) Place your piece in the kiln and fire to 800°C.



Cromartie Enamelling Kiln CEK4 available here

8) Once firing has completed, remove the piece carefully from the kiln using safety gloves and tongs. Check that the surface of the enamel has a smooth finish. If not, return your piece to the kiln and fire for slightly longer. Do not walk away from the kiln as you will need to keep checking your piece.


9) Once you are happy with the enamel finish, remove from the kiln using tongs and place to the side of the kiln on a heatproof surface (such a small kiln shelf) to cool. You may hear the piece making small metallic noises as it cools- this is perfectly normal. The colour may also change as the piece cools.

10) Once cool, place in water using tongs, then remove, clearing the opposite metal side of the jewellery blank to remove any oxidisation or dirt.

11) Wipe dry and repeat the above steps for the second coat of enamel.

12) Now to apply the enamel to the finished surface.

13) Repeat steps 5 – 9 when putting the work on a rack. This time do not use the mesh, or it will stick to the already enamelled back of the piece. Instead, place your piece on a pronged firing stand.


14) Once fired, remove from the kiln and place down to cool, drop in water and carefully take off any sharp edges or "tags" with an enamel file or sandpaper.

15) Add a chain or keyring to your finished pendant as required!

N.B Some colours will change once the work starts to cool - the main thing to look for is a smooth surface.

Check out or Enamelling range below.