Susan Lenart Kazmer’s Top 5 Tips for Enameling Jewelry
Susan Lenart Kazmer is a rock star in the jewelry-making world, and any time spent with her can forever change your creative life! Her resin, enameling, and other jewelry-making workshops are wonderful, and I’ve been fortunate to have taken a few in person. If you get the chance, don’t pass it up. But let’s face it; unless you win the lottery and can travel to Bali (she teaches in an exotic location every year), that’s expensive! However, we have the perfect solution! Here’s an online enamel jewelry-making course you can take in your own studio! Watch it over and over again while in your jammies (we won’t tell)!
Susan’s torch- and kiln-firing enameling techniques lead you beyond her signature style of fabricating metals by shaping and curving, applying enamels and working effectively with negative space. She covers loads of surface embellishments like using graphite, crayons and stencils. You’ll dive deep with Susan into liquid enamels, sgraffito and enamel crackling tutorials.
From her online enameling course, Explorations in Jewelry Enameling: Torch and Kiln Techniques, Susan has graciously shared her top five tips for enameling jewelry with us. Hope you enjoy!
Susan’s 5 Hot Enameling Tips
1. Secret Ingredient
Klyr Fire serves a dual purpose: to help the enamels better adhere to your surfaces and to protect the metal from fire scale. Cover any exposed, nonenameled metal with Klyr Fire before subjecting it to kiln or torch.
2. Front and Back
Counter enameling–that is, the process of applying enamel powders to the back as well as the front of your piece–ensures that both surfaces heat evenly. This prevents the enamels from cracking and popping off later. Flatter pieces are good candidates for counter enamel, whereas deeply curved pieces rarely need it.
3. High and Dry
Always make sure your pieces are thoroughly dry before firing them; otherwise, your enamels may not adhere fully. The top of your warm kiln is a good spot to place pieces if you want them to dry quickly.
4. Slow and Steady
When using a propane torch for enamel jewelry making, first heat your piece from below at a distance, and then move slowly up to the piece. Avoid drastic temperature changes that might cause your enamel to pop off.
After firing, if you don’t like the look of your projects, then you can continue to add enamels until you’re happy with the result. Multiple thin layers of enamel will create a wonderful, rich look.
Learn More About Enamel Jewelry with Susan
Susan loves teaching you her enameling techniques and then encouraging you to customize them to be yours, to express your own artistic flair. That’s exactly how she developed her own style. And if anyone can teach you how to enamel jewelry, it’s this fab artist! So what are you waiting for? Take the online course, Explorations in Jewelry Enameling: Torch and Kiln Techniques, and join Susan for an exciting journey into enamel jewelry!
Learn more about enamel, resin jewelry making, and metalsmithing with Susan Lenart Kazmer!