Instructables

I want to learn how to do enamel jewelry? Can you give me some help?

I want to learn how to do enamel jewelry? Can you give me some help?

I've been enameling for years. What would you like to know?
And while you're at it, give me some ideas on how to make Tarina Tarantino jewelry (e.g., this) because I don't want to shell out $150+ for a hunk of plastic and beads even if it's amazingly beautiful, gaudy plastic.  Do an Instructable and get +5 from me - you'd be a raging (raving?) success for reasons beyond my appreciation!!!  INTERNET GLORY!
 
Wow, you're not kidding, that's gaudy. Would it have to be plastic? The Hello Kitty part looks like something that would be easier to do out of polymer clay or using glass paint on a porcelain pendant, or enamels on a copper pendant or something. Not counting the beading, of course. I suck at beading.
I think it's black enamel with rhinestones set in before it's cured and then a hello kitty image on paper sealed in with clear enamel.  I'm pretty allergic to a lot of metals and copper leaves weird horrible stains if it's not coated in resin.
 
I think we're talking about different kinds of enamels. A paper image would never survive the kind of firing vitreous enamels require, so my best guess would be that either regular enamel paint or resin must be involved. User johnwgolden has posted some very nice video on resin jewelry. Do you think something like that would work?
Hey, man, cut me some slack.  I'm on Central time over here.  I meant epoxy, not enamel.  Bah.  I think I saw those earlier this year actually before I'd joined, but that's not the same as the Tarina Tarantino jewelry although I have a hunch it's a matter of making a clay positive and a silicone negative and layering epoxy and glittery crap onto it and then gluing all the bits together with a little more epoxy.  I just want someone else to do it so I know it can be done.
 
Yeah, that sounds about right. I've not really ever considered trying that kind of jewelry work, but on the other hand I've always wanted INTERNET GLORY. Hmmm. Maybe I can get RavingWife to do it and just take credit for it....
threadbare (author)  RavingMadStudios4 years ago
I like this painterly kind of enameling.....http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=34387726&ref=sr_gallery_12&&ga_search_query=enamel+necklace&ga_search_type=all&ga_page=9&includes[]=tags&includes[]=title

I'd like to be able to enamel charms for bracelets.

http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=37177389&ref=sr_gallery_3&&ga_search_query=enamel+necklace&ga_search_type=all&ga_page=30&includes[]=tags&includes[]=title

See this has raised edges so something like this might work...
http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=37457693&ref=sr_gallery_4&&ga_search_query=brass+bird&ga_search_type=supplies&ga_page=&includes[]=tags&includes[]=title

You can see how little I know.
threadbare (author)  threadbare4 years ago
Shoot, the links didn't show up.
A little cut & paste, and the links work fine. I can go on for days, but here are just a few highlights.

OK... first off the painterly example you provided is far and away the easiest and most straightforward of all the enameling techniques I know. It's just like painting with acrylic paint. As a starting-off point to get into the craft, it's a great choice. All you need is a vitreous surface, the enamel "paints" themselves, a few brushes and a way to fire the piece when you're ready. Some low-firing versions can even be fired in your oven, so you don't even need a kiln. High-fire versions can be used in conjuction with glass fusing processes in a kiln. If you want to fuse your own cabochons, that's cool. If not, those little glass blobs they sell in bags at Hobby Lobby in the mosaic section will paint just fine, too. Google "Vitrearc" and "Paradise Paints" for a couple of the high-fire versions, or Pebeo Vitrea or Pebeo Porcelaine for the low-fire kinds (they even come in markers). Or just surf dickblick.com for a while...

The shamrock is an example of an enamelling technique called basse-taille. In this technique, a low-relief design or pattern is etched, stamped, engraved, etc. into a metal base (usually copper, silver or gold), which is then covered with several layers of transparent powdered enamel so that the pattern shows through the enamel. For me, the toughest part of this kind of enameling is the metalwork. I use the toner-transfer PCB etching techniques outlined on this very site to etch designs into the metal, but there's still a fair amount of cutting, shaping, grinding and polishing involved before you ever crack open a jar of enamel. A jeweler's saw , a quality set of metal snips and a Dremel are an absolute must. A nice set of small files will also come in handy, as will a large assortment of wet/dry sandpaper and emery cloth. For the enameling tools, you'll want a sifter or two, a set of grading screens, several tiny paintbrushes, some enameling stilts, a bottle of holding agent... oh, heck, just take a look at www.thompsonenamel.com.

The bird is very cool, and something like that would definitely work for basse-taille. Unfortunately, that exact thing won't work, because it's silverplated brass. I have had exactly zero successes enameling silverplated copper or brass, due to the eutectic reaction between the two metals when heated. It ain't pretty. Silverplated steel works very well, though.

If you don't already have a kiln, you'll need one. Front-opening kilns work better for enameling than top-opening ones, since the firing times are so short, and you have to be able to get in and out quickly. Also, get the largest one your budget allows, with an electronic controller. You can make small jewerly pieces with nothing more than a Paragon Quickfire, but trust me, you'll want make larger pieces eventually.

I'll stop typing now, but feel free to contact me via PM with any questions you may have. I'm always glad to help when I can.

I would like to know if enamel/acrylic paibt would work on alloy metal earrings. Alloy is the only description given on these wing earrings that are silver colored. Thank you.

tmaddox12 years ago
Hi, I know this response is incredibly late, however I feel it a duty of mine to share a new enameling technique with you.

Painting with Fire's Torch-Fired Enameling Technique. check them out at www.paintingwithfirestudio.com

With this technique you have the convenience to set up your station almost anywhere that you have some air circulation. Instead of spending a thousand dollars to get started with enameling, you can purchase a torch firing kit for around $120, the only thing you'd need to retrieve yourself is a tank of mapgas or propane.

It take approximately between 30 seconds to a minute to complete a finished product. (Painting with Fire teaches their technique through the form of beads and jewelry)

Torch-Fired enameling is essentially powdered glass on metal such as Iron, copper, silver, or gold.

They teach workshops online and on site at their location in Saint Petersburg,FL

Address: 2428 Central Avenue
Saint Petersburg, FL 33712
(727) 498-6409