enamelling #6

two finished cloisonné samples, an exercise in shading (cobalt, turquoise and clear transparent enamels).


i washed the enamels for these samples and i’m really pleased with the results. they’ve retained their translucence and the texture below is still visible.

washing takes a leap of faith. you repeatedly swirl the powders in water, allow them to settle and pour off the milky water until it starts to run clear. i was afraid of losing a large percentage but that wasn’t the case. enamels can then be directly wet-inlaid or dried on foil on top of the kiln for sifting.

moon 1

this sample used rectangular cloisonné wire, which deforms quite easily. the colours come out well, considering the initial layer of flux had a yellowish tinge (also present in my final pieces). the texture of the base silver foil also appears to have flattened out somewhat. i shaded the dark outer section and i’m very happy with the result.

moon 2

the second sample used round wire, which is more forgiving. this piece still shows the green colour of the flux layer above the silver foil. it also retains the texture of the foil, which in this case is pleasing, but my final pieces have ridges down the centre that i hope will even out a little. i applied cobalt blue without shading on the outer sections and it looks a little flat compared to the first sample.

rather than stone the pieces flat i chose to use a final sifted layer of transparent flux, since the wires were still prominent. i may experiment with stoning before deciding how to finish my final pieces.

all layers were fired for 2 minutes at 805•c


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