Yes, Two of the most important things of Enameling an artist needs to learn is:
1-Understand your available fluxes.
2-Test all your enamels.
I was young once, ha and still am at heart, and remember how anxious I was to make something beautiful. I also did not want to take the time to really understand what enamels were. So instead I jumped in and made plenty of messes.
There was only one book I could find and no classes or instructors in my area.
But today there are many books and many classes. Do yourself a favor and cut many years off you bad side of the journey. Study first.
Start here https://alohilanidesigns.com/vitreous-enamel-flux-comparison/ and read my site. I have shared here for 12 years.
And if you would enjoy a one on one class join me or contact me and I am happy to help you find a great instructor in your area.
In building a good foundation get to know your vitreous enamel flux.
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. See how 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.
Next, I know what does that matter? visit my thoughts, understand vitreous enamel flux, with my enamel flux test plates https://alohilanidesigns.com/vitreous-enamel-flux-comparison/
This is what I call Enamel Test Plates! Raj Lathigara, Ph.D. is serious about his journey in enameling. Getting to know your product is so important. I completely understand, we are so excited when we see this beautiful art for of enameling, we just want to jump in and start playing.
But, if you can take the time, as Raj did here to make these enamel test plates of all your enamels you will find it to be a huge advantage as you begin your journey.
Transparent Enamel test plates of Ninomiya
Opaque Enamel Test Plates of Ninomiya
Attention to detail! Rajesh will be an amazing enamelist!
How to make a test plate. https://alohilanidesigns.com/test-plate-enamels-how-to/
Just enjoyed viewing all of your designs! Do you have any suggestions on shading within the cells of your cloisonne or know of any publications I could read to help me out?
Thanks for visiting and I am happy to try to help. I can not recommend one book on shading, but I can say for me it took time. I was a Fine Arts Major in school and only used pin and ink. My love was drawing. When I first saw cloisonne I was hooked forever and begin a quest to learn colors, and how to use colors in enamels.
I began photographing everything that was of interest to me. When diving, hiking, walking, always carrying a camera. With these photo I made albums to use as resources. I would take a month or so at a time and draw and paint till I got the impact I needed in my art.
Then it takes time to look and see the colors. One trick I have learned is to take a peice of paper and cut a hole in it. Place this over a picture and you can see better it is a pink white or a red green. There is more than one or two whites in a white flower petal. It makes the jewel much more interesting to use more than a couple of colors in the same family when shading.
The Huma Huma on the front of the site has 29 colors from blue to green.
My color plate of pinks has at least 14 colors on it. Now I know this is way too much for many artist but if I lay in half of these colors next to each other I can create a beautiful shading from light pink to dark pink by placing these next to each other.
How to use colors in enameling = laying colors of enamel next to each other of the same color family, and each time you apply a layer of enamel you need to shift to the left or right to avoid a line. I like to work from dark to light. This way after a couple of layers of enamel are laid in and fired I drop out the darkest color of enamel, say it was on the right of my design, then shift all my colors of enamel to the right, I can get a very even and beautiful gradation of color!
A book of watercolors I used is “Light Up Your Watercolors” by Linda Stevens Moyer. She has a couple of exercises you can try, and she uses her warm colors to bring the information forward. Also try “Colored Pencil Fast Techniques” by Bet Borgenson. She teaches Juxtaposing Color which is great for color impact. You can use her exercises in watercolors as well.
The first assignment for all of my students is get a set of water color paints and a pad of hot press watercolor paper and start painting.
Happy Enameling! Patsy
Let me introduce you to an amazing Artist. “I am Gocha Gurgenidze it has been 15 years since I am working , I started off as hobby but later on it turned out as my profession. Material I work on is pure gold and silver , I do not show my work in galleries only personal orders , a lot of my work is kept in personal collection of patriarch , unfortunately I just started to take pictures of my work recently , obviously I sell them. Everything is handmade. Thanks for appreciating my work”
Wow, wow, wow!! That is what I call cloisonné!! a contact for Gocha firstname.lastname@example.org