Welcome to my Enameling Blog of Cloisonné Jewelry Techniques and others, Plique a Jour, Champlevé Enameling and yes Painting Enamels.
My site is a donation of everyone’s time to share and further the education of the fine art of enameling techniques. I am very happy to answer questions to help you, but please ask here and not emailing me directly. At the bottom of this page there is a comment section. Look forward to hearing from you. Thanks!!
I share my life’s passion and inspiration with anyone who wishes to read. I am a self-taught enamelist and goldsmith. I did not live here in the US where there was a knowledge base and to my advantage, my knowledge came from trial and error and today I continue to build on trial and error.
Read, test, analyze, and you will surely learn.
Rebecca Di Filippo
Enameller since 2012. Based in Milan, Italy. Along with many enameling friends have put together a book to share with an enamelist worldwide. Here to share a few of her wonder enamel paintings.
Here you should be able to download her book. Enamel+Book+-+Rebecca+D.+Enamel+-+English
Visit Rebecca https://rebeccadenamel.com/
More shared by Rebecca
The degradation of the enamel explained in a simple way
Rebecca Di Filippo
Can the enamel expire?
No, but it can spoil.
Don’t expect mold! When we talk about the degradation of vitreous enamel, also known as glass disease, we refer to a spontaneous process, which takes place in environments with high relative humidity, called leaching. This process leads the alkaline part (carbonate of soda or potash) to separate from the siliceous network.
It is a rather nasty inconvenience that makes soda and potash “sweat” on the glass. Sweating is not a technical term, but it gives a good idea of what happens!
This degradation occurs on the enamel surface if left exposed to humidity for a long time.
Powder enamel is more prone to this type of problem as there is a greater surface area in contact with the air. This doesn’t mean that enamel can’t last for decades! Indeed, by following these simple rules you can avoid its degradation:
– Always store your enamel in well-sealed containers and in dry environments.
– Wash enamel a little at a time, it is not a good idea to wash large quantities of it and let it dry
again because if the drying is not quick and perfect, it may incur degradation of the enamel.
How do I know if the enamel is degraded?
A degraded enamel usually has very compact and hard agglomerates of powder, difficult to break with the fingers. When it is fired in the kiln it creates bubbles, more or less large, which compromise its transparency (in the case of transparent glazes) making the enamel appear cloudy and, if the bubbles are large, the surface will also appear more irregular.
Should I throw away the degraded enamel?
No! Just bring it back to life!
As you know, the enamel is washed to remove the finer part which can compromise its transparency by retaining the air, but washing the enamel can also be useful to recover a degraded enamel. Using distilled water, wash the enamel several times and lightly grind it with a ceramic mortar.
How do I know when the enamel is ready?
You will understand this by eye over time but at first use pH control papers. A degraded enamel has a pH of 10 or higher. By washing it you will see that this pH will drop to 7/6 and at that point, you can use it!
Can all types of enamels be degraded?
Yes, some are more prone to degradation than others due to their chemical composition. I recommend keeping the already washed enamel wet only for a few days, not more than a few weeks! Unfortunately, some enamels, particularly sensitive to humidity, begin to deteriorate after 2/3 days. You can easily notice
it because a white patina appears on the surface of the water, in this case, it is necessary to wash them to make them look like new again.
It seems to me that only transparent enamels degrade, why?
You get this feeling only because degradation is more visible in transparent enamels.
Is the finished piece subject to degradation?
Usually not. Especially with modern enamels that are almost always based on soda and not on potash. Glass disease can usually be seen in ancient glassworks in museums such as glasses and vases, which have a base of potash.
The photo shows the pH measuring papers. The first on top before washing a degraded enamel and the subsequent ones measure the pH after each washing.
See the Jewelry Collection
“Custom Cloisonne Jewelry and Custom Enamel Jewelry are a delight to me. Contact me if I can create a jewel of your very own inspired personal adornment! All of my creations are One of a Kind Jewelry, whether in Cloisonne Necklaces, Cloisonne Earrings or Enamel Jewels such as Plique a Jour, I am thrilled to design for you.”
EVERY BOX BELOW IS A TOPIC OF ENAMELING, MUCH LIKE A CHAPTER. THERE IS ALSO AN OPTION TO ASK QUESTIONS IN EACH AND I WILL BE HAPPY TO SHARE.