Like CAD, enamelling and I have a love hate relationship; I love it but it does not love me! I did a tiny amount of enamelling last year on just a couple of copper squares which I ended up under-firing. They were dark in colour and rough textured. I also made a little ring sample with a domed, copper cup. I sprinkled some enamel powder inside and placed a little enamel cube in the middle also. The enamel melted nicely and the cube almost fully, however, I liked that it had some depth to it rather than the cube being completely melted in with the powder.
Ring sample below. I used purple and turquoise enamel powders and a pink cube.
As for this year I have attempted enamelling again. 6 samples are needed to pass the unit and it seems as though I am going to be here a while until something works as I am now just burning everything. 1 minute, 40 seconds, I am gaining the same, over-fired results. This is disappointing. (You shall not beat me enamel)! Well, I’m sure I’ll get my samples eventually, however, some relationships aren’t meant to be.
Below are my attempts this week; some squares were domed, I then sprinkled a ‘Pale Yellow’ over one and a ‘Violet’ over the larger one. As you can see in the pictures, all have been over-fired. I love the yellow tone but the violet is unfortunately non existent. I think the two colours would compliment each other well, although I’d rather not mix a lot of colour for any of my final pieces, it’s nice to just try out in some sampling.
Using very thin copper that Colin handed out, I cut out a square shape and two random geometric shapes. Colin was also kind enough to let the class try out his corrugated roller machine which works pretty much like a rolling mill. I placed the thin copper between the rollers and used the handle to push the copper through, creating the corrugated effect and distorting the shapes, which I quite like! These were also covered in the same enamel colours (over-fired!). I do love the ‘pop’ in the yellow though.
My poor cactus was slightly over done also.
Below are the colours I sampled. I used the little sieve to sprinkle on the powders and also did the process over a creased piece of card so that any excess colour could be poured back into the tube it came from before trying out another colour to prevent waste and contamination between colours.
Well I had a game plan in my mind which unfortunately did not go as I’d hoped and was set back a bit. I shall be more aware of the time the pieces are spending in the kiln. I’m still determined and hoping my next attempt will be much more successful!
Until next time,