Enameling Blog of Cloisonné & Many Other Enameling Techniques

 

 

Welcome to my Enameling Blog of Cloisonné Jewelry Techniques and others such as 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.

 

 

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.”

           Patsy Croft

The Matilija Poppy and The Mendocino Poppy Project

Mendocino Poppy Project by Tom Herman and Patsy Croft


Mendocino Poppy Project
by Tom Herman and Patsy Croft

 Check out our 2-year journey  at https://alohilanidesigns.com/matilija-poppy/

Feel free to leave a comment and I will reply soon

37 Comments

  1. Shirley Matteson

    Hi Patsy
    OK Sanded and Sanded and Sanded finally removed most of the pitting however now I have several large cracks..Can I re fire now? Also do I need counter as I have plenty on the back up to the wire

    Reply
    • Patsy Croft

      It looks better….BUT I think it is time to use a small round ball bur and remove the pits. There is not much. Then clean well with a glass brush, dry, fire, and fill the recession.

      Oh course there will be another round of sanding but I am sure if you stick with it you will be happy you did *)

      When you sand again start at 600…

      Reply
  2. shirley matteson

    Yes 1 coat of n4 and seems like trouble started after this fire.

    Reply
    • Patsy Croft

      Shirley,

      This is why I do not use top coats. I know some enamelist do. When I get to the point of enameling my jewel where I am happy with the colors but there is still space left to fill my wires I use the lightest color on that family to finish filling the cell.

      For now I do not see the top of your cloison wires, so sand it down more with 600, then 1200 grit and see if you get below the N4. Maybe that is all you need. Keep me informed.

      Reply
  3. Shirley Matteson

    This is the wing blown up shows the pitting

    Reply
    • Patsy Croft

      Shirley did you add a top coat?

      Reply
  4. Shirley Matteson

    After polishing my new piece there seems to be pitting on the surface. should I refire to eliminate this? Why does this happen?

    Reply
    • Patsy Croft

      Shirley can you get a better photo. Can not see the pits.

      And tell me more. How are you polishing? Are the pits in all of the enamels?

      Patsy

      Reply
  5. Shirley Matteson

    Wow! This is so scary!
    Put my domes on top of the kiln, heated to about 90 degrees,we have a temp gauge, put jewel in kiln upside down and heated, 1450 degrees for 2 minutes. Very Hot! Wearing my welding gloves took lower dome and put in front of kiln, took jewel out slid into dome placed top dome on and pushed lightly. let cool and when removed it was re domed with a few small cracks that healed with a re fire. I am so blown away. It looks beautiful. With help from an amazing Enamelist and friend my jewel will live on.
    Thank you so much Patsy you are so gifted and I am thankful beyond words.

    Reply
    • Patsy Croft

      I am very happy you stuck with it. Now you have learn a very useful enameling trick!

      Great job, they look like a happy family.

      Cheers and keep enameling!! And thank you for sharing with all of us.

      Reply
    • Shirley Matteson

      Just wanted to share the finished product
      My jewel has a new home on this silver belt buckle.
      Thanks again Patsy you are the BEST!

      Reply
      • Patsy Croft

        Wow that is gorgeous! Thanks for sharing.

        Happy Enameling, Patsy

        Reply
  6. Shirley Matteson

    Yes I added ng302 instead of rf1 and it worked however now my dome has inverted so the whole piece is trashed. Wish it could be saved

    Reply
    • Patsy Croft

      Looks good now, and you know on your test plate of opals as they are lined up and fired all at once
      you can see which ones fire first and know which are hard firing and medium. Just don’t put in same cell when using cloisonne technique.

      BUT Don’t give up, you have come so far! Tell me how did you dome it in the first place?

      Reply
      • Shirley Matteson

        I use this doming tool, it is very heavy and I put my fine silver piece in place added the top on and push down. Works great.

        Reply
        • Patsy Croft

          yes Shirley, you can see Nina had the same idea, enamelist have used this for centuries.

          So heat the jewel and heat the two parts of the punch and block. I sit mine on top of the kiln.

          Take a couple of practice runs so it is easy and you do not burn yourself. I have a tile next to my kiln where I can sit the hot tools.

          Wearing gloves, place the hot tools on the side of your kiln, and quickly take the jewel out of the kiln and place into the block face down and push the punch down just like you did to form it.

          it should be all restored. *))

          Reply
          • Shirley Matteson

            Wow ok I will try Makes me very nervous
            Will be back soon

        • Nina Novikova

          Hi, Shirley
          Would you mind to share where you found these large doming tools?

          Reply
    • Nina Novikova

      Hi, Shirley
      Heat it again, put on a hot metal plate immediately after kiln and press with hot iron. I do it often if enamel warps.

      Reply
  7. Shirley Matteson

    ok, I sanded down but I still have valley. Should I refill with RF1?

    Reply
    • Patsy Croft

      Hi Shirley, I am bit concerned with the hardness of the RF1. If you remember the cracking was not appearing till you were nearing your completion point and it was the RF1 that started the cracking .

      Beside the counter enamel, which is always our first culprate, you fixed but still had a crack in the right horse’s blaze.

      I think when you go back and add enamel to fill the valley try a lower fusing opal enamel. RF1 is a high fusing opal = hard and when sharing a cell with a low or medium fusing enamel it can crack.

      So let’s be sure. Try NG 302 I saw that on your test plate earlier.

      Reply
  8. Shirley Matteson

    added another counter and the cracks healed, yahoo!

    Reply
    • Patsy Croft

      Awesome, now back to the front, how does that look?

      Reply
  9. Shirley Matteson

    Carved it out and seem to have more cracks

    Reply
    • Patsy Croft

      Oh my! yes, these really look like a counter enamel problem. If you have a hard time calculating how much counter enamel you have on your jewel, while enameling place a small circle of cloison wire on the back. Then as you enamel you will know for sure it is matching the front layers.

      Please take a photo of the jewel eye level and horizontal for us to check the counter.

      Reply
  10. Shirley Matteson

    added more counter, still have cracking

    Reply
    • Patsy Croft

      Shirley, try to carve out the crack and lets see if it will heal. It might have some contamination.
      Patsy

      Reply
  11. Shirley Matteson

    Patsy
    I cant get the crack to heal Now there is a bubble in the crack Should I remove the bubble and refire?
    Can I fire the piece upside down without distorting the front picture?

    Reply
    • Patsy Croft

      I would drill out the bubble and clean it well under running water with use a glass brush. Let it dry and refire. Sure you can fire it upside down on a trivet. And while you are at it add another layer of counter enamel.

      Reply
  12. Patsy Croft

    Shirley, always the first thing we think of when there is a crack is to check your counter enamel. You need the same amount of counter as layers of enamel you put on the front. So now if it is uneven add counter and see if the crack heals. Let me know. Patsy

    Reply
  13. Shirley Matteson

    Patsy
    Thank you for the info This worked great.
    Also allowed me to watch my design and fix some things before I got to far into the actual enameling process i.e. The ears being to large for the piece I have time to take out and change the size without major demolition further down the road.
    Thanks for all the help Your the best!

    Reply
    • Patsy Croft

      So glad I could help. Looking forward to seeing your progress!

      Patsy

      Reply
  14. Shirley Matteson

    Hi Patsy
    Do I have to form all my wires at the same time?
    I have a large piece with a lot of wires.

    Reply
    • Patsy Croft

      Hi Shirley,
      Great question, if you mean do you have to fuse all your wires in place on the first firing of your flux? I say no. In my large pieces I lay down my larges wires first. The dominate ones that help me keep my placement of the design. Then I begin with what I would call secondary lines.

      While we are only using flux nothing will burn and this really helps if the fine silver base is domed. I can tilt the jewel to add wires that would normally slide off edges while placing it in the kiln.

      Have a great day, Patsy

      Reply
  15. Patsy Croft

    Beth thank you for sharing!

    Reply

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