Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Lily pads with enamel gem

I post these pictures on my Flickr page and got many lovely feedbacks! And here, I would like to share some excitement of how I made these. It’s new pendant design of “lily pads with enamel gem” and pictures are taking to look like lily pads in the pond. I love these end result of it too but I must say, I love love love making these! I got “2001 Opal jewel effect” from Thompson Enamel out of curiosity. (hey, if I see something interesting I have to try it!) They look like rough rocks before firing. Then when you fire, it would look like real opal cabochons! I made bezel with fine silver wire and fused on to “pad” part. Kind of like when you do cloisonné. Cloisonné usually requires so many firing to build up enamel but because I put the “Opal gem” in the bezel doesn’t have to fire so many times! And you can see the beautiful milky opals glow through the color!
Maybe it wasn’t so much of brilliant new idea but it was so exciting to me! The enamels in the bezel look like “real gem” and that’s what I love most about enameling and reminds me why they are call “七宝” (seven gems) in Japan.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Copper enameling with torch-fire

So you like to try your hands in enameling but don’t have a kiln? Lets start torch enameling!

Easy to setup, fairly inexpensive and so much fun!

Before I got my own kiln, my only access to kiln was when I go to my enameling class. It’s only once a week and as I start to get more orders, I start to needing to work more than once (three hours) a week. But kiln is large investment & very intimidating… so I start to enamel with torch.

But I must say, if you want to work with large pieces, torch enameling probably wouldn’t work. Maybe you can do special setup but in my experience 1’ and under works the best.
I put Cement backer board on kitchen counter. On the cement backer board, I put tripod, square mesh firing screen.

I use “MAP GASS”. I was told that “MAP GASS” gets hot and burn cleaner. Others would work too but I never tried before.

I’ll skip preparing metal and shift enamel, as they are already excellent tuto out there.

I always fire form underneath. Light the torch and open the nozzle all the way to get highest heat. Then move the flame underneath of the piece and heat metal’s edge in circular motion. You’ll see the metal slowly heats up. When they get red the enamel start to melt. Most nice thing about torch enameling is you can see the process of how enamel melts, flow and fuse. So you can stop when they get to your desire stage. How long to fire the piece is depending on the color.

Here is my tip for firing different colors
For opaque colors, never put direct heat! It will turn gray. There for you’ll always counter first with selecting dark color as your counter enamel. Reds are easy to burn. So don’t fire too long not less you want “burnt” look.

For transparent colors, I usually fire golden clear as base. Golden clear gets clearer as you fire longer. So when I see the enamel melts, I start counting 25 or so. About this time golden clear will become nice and clear. If you fire too long it gets greenish. Then fire counter enamel with golden clear side facing down. After golden clear and counter, you can fire any colors you wish on the golden clear.

Opaque colors on the golden clear would get you interesting result too. Play around and see what comes up!

*Fire in the open & well ventilated area*
*Wear protective eve glasses*
*Be careful handling the pieces & trivets, they are HOT!*

ok, I can’t think of anything else right now. If you have any question please leave a comment!

Happy enameling:)

Friday, July 10, 2009

EGA sale & weekend deal & new poppies!

I’m having Christmas in July Sale with EGA team through July 15th! All items in my shop are going to be 20% off!! (including already sale items & custom orders) Plus free first-class shipping to anywhere in the world!! AND for this weekend of July 10-12th, I’m offering extra $10 off on order more than $100! (deal apply after CIJ discount) I think this is the biggest sale I ever had… well, I just want you to really feel like Christmas! Thank you so much for those of you that already shopped! If you haven’t, please take a look at all these fabulous shops with great sales!!

EGA participant members
MyCabinCreationshttp://www.mycabincreations.etsy.com/ - 20% off EverythingJewelry by Natsuko http://www.jewelrybynatsuko.etsy.com/ - 20% off everythingRWillisglassartisthttp://www.rwillisglassartist.etsy.com/ - 20% off glass items onlytekaandzoehttp://www.tekaandzoe.etsy.com/ - 20% offPaulasstressarthttp://www.paulasstressart.etsy.com/ - 20% off everythingSusan Sheehanhttp://www.susansheehan.etsy.com/ - at least 20% off as priced in designated store sectionGlass Circushttp://www.glasscircus.etsy.com/ - 20% off everythingFire n Sand Glasshttp://www.giapet.etsy.com/ 20% off all glass itemsColor Shoppe Studiohttp://www.colorshoppestudio.etsy.com/ - 10% off all Stained Glass JewelryGlasscathttp://www.glasscat.etsy.com/ - 20% off fused and dichroic jewelry; 15% off any stained glass items.41designhttp://www.41design.etsy.com/ - 20% off

And here are the new poppies! I made this for custom order. As I blog the last time she wanted “bright red”. After few trial & error, I got something I LOVE! When I mixed little orange in the middle, they add so much life to poppies!! Now they are looking like the “real” poppies!!

Friday, July 3, 2009

"cadmium red" & "free shipping"

I recently received request to make “long stem poppy earrings” with bright poppy red. The red I usually use is “Victorian red” deep, almost maroon kind of red. So I looked on the shelves at enameling class. Then I found “cadmium red” I never seen before. I asked my teacher, and she said it is discontinue lead free Thompson enamel that some nice person donated to class. I was so sad that it’s discontinued color, because I just fell in love with the red when I fired! But she was so nice that let me buy off of her so I could take some home. Now I’m so looking forward to make some more poppies with it!!

BTW, I’m taking a part of Etsy’s July free shipping sale so every purchase in my shop is fee shipping from July 2nd through July 6th!