Enameling Jewelry: 12+ Inspiring Techniques for Classic, Experimental & Trendy Enamel Jewelry
Enameling is our Technique of the Month for November, yay! You’ve probably seen me say that enameling is one of my favorite jewelry-making techniques, so I’m happy that we’ve given it a whole month. I’m even happier that we’re marking this special occasion with a special publication, How to Enamel Jewelry 2017.
There are 12+ enamel jewelry-making techniques in How to Enamel Jewelry, divided into three categories: classic, experimental, and trending. The classic section covers age-old enameling techniques like champlevé, cloisonné, and basse taille. The experimental techniques bring enamel jewelry-making into the modern world with fun techniques anyone can do at home. These include torch enameling, using glass threads and stencils, enameling on metal clay, using liquid enamels, raku, enameling on copper mesh, maximizing enamel on other textures, and using rubber stamps with enamel. And for the serious enamel jewelry fanatics like me, How to Enamel Jewelry also covers trending enamel jewelry-making techniques and surface treatments like decals, graphite and crayons on enamel, fusing with enamels, and sgraffito.
After just flipping through the pages of How to Enamel Jewelry, I was so inspired to create unique shapes to enamel and to make basic shapes to embellish with surface treatments, especially rubber stamps and graphite. Here are some of the projects I found most inspiring in How to Enamel Jewelry–and the ones I can’t wait to try.
These raku enameled pieces by Helen Driggs exemplify what I love about enameling. Just look at all those colors! And patterns and designs that are so random and organic, it seems insufficient to call them patterns; they’re more like intriguing bursts of color. It would be nearly impossible to make enameled jewelry like this that isn’t one of a kind.
Sandra Kravitz very artistically crumples copper mesh to create an interesting base for enameling in her enamel on copper mesh pendant, above. I love the texture and dimension that is so easy to create when using copper mesh under enamel, which also makes it really easy to create double-sided reversible masterpieces.
The color-swapping in Eugenia Chan’s stenciled earrings (above) is a quick and easy way to tie a piece (or in this case, four pieces) together. The added texture on the larger pieces is what I sometimes refer to as “lagniappe” in jewelry; the dimples provide just enough extra design to make these earrings really interesting and stylish.
I am a paper crafter from way back, and I love finding ways to use my rubber stamp stash in jewelry making. I’ve used them for etching and for creating unique heat patinas, and now enameling, thanks to Jo Ann Wadler’s cool tutorial in How to Enamel Jewelry. Any rubber stamp you have, love, or make can be used to create crisp designs, repeated patterns, words, etc. on your enamel jewelry-making projects. Oh so many possibilities! I can’t wait to do this.
Tom and Kay Benham’s chased pendant (above) pops under transparent enamels, as do Arlene Mornick and Anat Silvera’s metal clay rings, below. Transparent enamels combine the eye-catching color of enamels with the textures we love in metalwork for truly artistic enamel jewelry-making results.
In addition to learning all of these cool enamel jewelry-making techniques, you’ll get a rundown of enameling tools, supplies, and basic techniques in How to Enamel Jewelry 2017. I also noticed a really great bonus about this publication; within all of the enamel jewelry-making projects, you can learn about bonus jewelry-making techniques like chasing and repoussé, metal clay jewelry making (including how to make a metal clay ring band), soldering and riveting, etching, and others. You’ll also enjoy plenty of enamel jewelry eye candy with two features about stunningly beautiful Russian enamel work.
From tools and basics through enamel jewelry-making techniques and tutorials, all the way to inspirational museum pieces and enameled art, How to Enamel Jewelry 2017 covers enamel enthusiasts of all levels. If you’d like to get some really handy new enamel jewelry-making tools as well, get the Basic Torch-Fired Enameling Tool Set, which includes How to Enamel Jewelry 2017 as well as Eugenia Chan’s enameling spatula and torching basket. If you’re a huge enameling fan like me, get the Deluxe Torch-Fired Enameling Tool Set, which includes everything in the basic set plus a bunch of Eugenia Chan’s design stencils.