Enamelling is the process of putting fine crushed grains of glass onto the surface of metal. It can create amazing and interesting finishes depending on the colours and patterns, you can get several different types of enamels such as opaque’s or matts in a large variety of colours. You can also get Transfers which are glass printed designs. As seen in the images below (roses).
Clean the metal with pumice powder on both sides and the edges.
Apply flux through a fine sieve to the surface of the copper, this creates a fine surface for the enamel and will show the true colours clearly.
Put in the kiln for around 2 minutes, better underfired than overfired, you can tell if its underfired as there will still be bubbles and grains on the surface. The time varies from piece to piece.
Apply the flux to both sides.
Choose your colour of enamel to use, make sure the colours aren’t mixing as it is wasteful.
Repeat firing. You can fire up to 3 layers of enamel, any more and you will risk the enamel cracking.
You can use a variety of techniques to create patterns, using paper as stencils, using a knife to cut through the enamel or using two colours and blending them together.
You can also use transfers; they act the same as temporary tattoos. There is a back layer and a top layer, when put in warm water the back paper will come away, apply the pattern to the surface of the enamelled metal surface, adjust its position on the metal to your designs specifications.
Take a dry piece of blue roll or tissue and dry the transfer, rubbing from the middle outwards to get all the water out from underneath the transfer.
Its best to let it dry overnight but we put them on the top of the kiln and left them for at least an hour. If you put it in the kiln immediately the water will boil and create bubbles instead of a clear glossy finish.