Create Unique Surface Effects and Further Explorations in Jewelry Enameling with Susan Lenart Kazmer
It's no secret, enameling is my favorite technique to do in my studio. There's a little bit of magic to it, a little mad scientist, turning "powder" into glass, and as with all science, there's always more experimenting and exploring to be done.
Lately I've been playing with liquid enamels and enamel pens; I love the precise lines and designs you can create with the fine tip of a brush or pen, as opposed to an enamel sifter, even when using stencils. But that's just the tip of the iceberg, as I learned when I watched SLK's (that's what I call her, my favorite, Susan Lenart Kazmer) new enameling video. Further Explorations in Jewelry Enameling: Kiln Fired Liquid Enamel and Sgraffito. "Further explorations" in enameling are exactly what I'm always looking for, and it's so exciting to see the experiments and gorgeous results that such a creative and talented artist as Susan has made.
Funny enough, I think the number one thing I love about this video is that Susan shows how to skip counter enameling the back of enameled pieces. I know, it's not a special surface treatment and it's not even technically a new way of enameling, but still! I don't know about you, but the chances of me getting both the front and the back of an enameled piece to look how I want it to look are pretty slim! If I get the counter enamel on decently enough, it usually changes while I'm enameling the front, and it's too risky to go back and try to make the back look nice again, for fear of ruining the front!
Plus while the front is enameling, the counter enamel on the back always sticks to my screen or tripod and makes a mess, not to mention how hard it can be to get it unstuck (though Susan does address fixing these issues in her video). I just don't like counter enameling in general–but Susan shares a great tip in the video: you can safely skip it!
Another fun technique I learned while watching Susan's video is basse taille, pronounced "bass tie" (bass, like the fish). Technically basse taille is French for "low cut," but we're not talking about fashion. According to Encyclopedia Britannica, basse taille is an enameling technique that involves etching, embossing, carving, engraving, or otherwise texturing a metal surface and then enameling over that design using translucent enamels.
The translucent enamels on metal create a brilliant almost shimmery sort of play of light and make the etched or engraved design really stand out. Basse taille was first developed in Italy in the 13th century, and it's a great way to bring unusual Old World craftsmanship to your modern jewelry designs. Susan doesn't limit her work to translucent enamels, as you'll see in the video.
Ready to add even more interest to your enameled jewelry designs? Learn to create artistic textures and surface designs on enameled jewelry with Susan's latest enameling video, Further Explorations in Jewelry Enameling: Kiln Fired Liquid Enamel and Sgraffito. While feeling like you're hanging out with Susan in the studio and having a fabulous time, you'll learn to create special effects on kiln-fired enamel jewelry pieces, including crackled effects, sgraffito (words or designs scratched into the molten enamel surface), creating luster with mica-infused supplements, marking with enamel crayons and carbon pencils, creating impressions with stamps and other objects, basse taille, and more.
Susan also shares fun "bonus" enameling techniques like how to layer opaque enamels and create a "negative millefiori" look, creating curved and fold-formed shapes and then enameling on those challenging pieces, how to enamel both sides of a piece and fire both at the same time, how to create a matte surface on enamel, and how to mix colors (yes you can do it!) using liquid enamels.
If you love enameling and want to take your designs a step or two further, don't miss this workshop with such an amazingly talented and successful artist, author, and teacher. It's way too much fun to miss!
P.S. Did you get Susan's first enameling video, Explorations in Jewelry Enameling: Kiln and Torch Techniques? Discover more about the great things you'll learn in that video.