Jewelry Enameling: Kiln-Fired Liquid Enamel and Sgraffito
I heart anything SLK (close friends and family lovingly refer to Susan Lenart Kazmer as SLK), and apparently you do, too! She’s a wealth of information AND highly entertaining. Whether you take a class with her in person or one of our workshops, your brain will hurt from the creative overload! (It’s a good thing.) I wrote about her first workshop, Explorations in Jewelry Enameling: Torch and Kiln Techniques, which got you started in torch- and kiln-fired enameling…
Now Susan’s new workshop is a continuation of her best-selling DVD of the same name, Further Explorations in Jewelry Enameling: Kiln Fired Liquid Enamel and Sgraffito Course. It’s always a pleasure to learn from an expert, and Susan’s jewelry and metalsmithing expertise guides you along the path of exploring these techniques. Enameling is such a fun and addictive world to play in!
Susan teaches you how to use enamels and the variations of hard, medium, and soft enamels to further layer and achieve different surface designs. She’ll teach you more advanced sgraffito techniques and basse taille. Sound intriguing? But wait, there’s more! How about using lusters, organic textures, stamps and crayons in your surface design? She’ll show you how!
Many of you, like myself, don’t have a fully stocked metalsmithing studio. For these techniques, you can use a 120-volt tabletop kiln that you simply plug into a regular outlet. This allows you to easily transform your spare bedroom or garage to a studio!
Before you actually fire your enameled pieces, Susan briefly explains the methods she uses to shape the metal pieces so you can customize shapes and sizes.
Susan shares a sneak peek into her top 5 tips for jewelry enameling!
SUSAN’S TOP 5 TIPS FOR FURTHER EXPLORATIONS IN JEWELRY ENAMELING
1. Order matters
In general, use hard enamels for initial layers, medium enamels for the middle layers, and soft (liquid) enamels for the top layer. Reversing the order will most likely result in getting bubbles in your piece. Of course, you are free to experiment with that look!
2. Mix it up
Use distilled water to mix up liquid enamels. The consistency should be thin enough for droplets to slowly drip off your finger, like heavy whipping cream. The benefit of liquid enamels is the fact that you can mix colors together to create your own custom shades and colors.
3. Keep it clean
Make sure your metal is clean, with no dirt, oil, or pickle remaining on them, so your enamels will fully adhere.
4. Etch it
A thin top layer is best for sgraffito, so that chunks of enamel don’t flake off as you scratch into it.
5. Let’s get crackling
If you want to combine sgraffito with crackle, you will need to choose one of the three options for crackle base: white, black, or clear. The clear can be used over the top of a non-crackle base coat, allowing you to choose the color revealed by the crackle technique.
And last but not least, Susan covers finishing techniques, from riveted bails to applying resin as a counter enamel. You want to be sure to have some tried and true ways to wear your beauties once you create them! You can be sure you will learn every step you need to know with Susan. You’ll also receive helpful downloadable PDFs with your materials shopping list, and kiln-firing schedule. There are quizzes, a note-taking section, and a gallery to post pictures of your creations. You’ll have fun and be inspired seeing what your fellow students are up to!
So, I invite you to join in the fun and get ready for a good time!
See more from Susan