In building a good foundation get to know vitreous enamel flux.
Here I have created to share my enamel flux test plates.
Like any painting technique there are various primers for various jobs. In art of enameling we have quite a few fluxes but they produce various findings. You have heard of a car having the rust primer coat = flux, before the color coat, If you ever finish a beautiful wooden object you would have the sand and sealer = flux, before the varnish coat. And preparing metal to enamel is the same way, as an enamelist I have prepared an enamel flux test plate.
Enamels are reactive to metal, not all but 90% I would say. So flux coats are usually necessary, and there are several hardness of these fluxes from available manufactures.
Vitreous Enamel Flux Comparison with what is on the market today.
Enamels are reactive to metal, not all but 90% I would say. So flux coats on metal before enameling is usually necessary, and there are several hardness of these fluxes.
First, view my test plate.
Flux Test Plate 1 Soyer #3 not fired
Here you have Ninomiya 3 Shippo 110, Vintage Thompson 757, Hirosawa S-1S and Soyer 3. These are all vitreous enamel flux, from different manufactures.I have fired at 1450 for 1 minute and as you can see all the flux has fused except the Soyer 3.
With another firing for 1.5 minutes you can see Soyer has fused.
Second firing of enamel Flux Test Plate Soyer #3 far right.
Right! so Soyer 3 is the hardest firing flux.
Ideally we want our flux, in enameling, to keep the reactive enamels from touching the metal surface. If this is the toughest barrier why not use it!
There are other good products here, and some might use these brands of enamel flux, but when it comes to reds which are usually the most reactive enamel colors, it is the best barrier.
I have spent most of my enameling career as a cloisonne jewelry artist, and making cells to hole enamel can create different challenges that other enamel techniques.
Here are a couple of diagrams to explain.
Flux Fired Correctly
Over heating the jewel causes this..
Flux Over Fired
Cells contain more heat than open surface techniques of enameling. When enamels are over fired they travel to the hottest point, up the walls of cloison wires, lowering your base layer of protection = thinning the flux at the center point and what do you get?…Enamels the color of MUD.