Today I will show you guys how I made faux enamel earrings which resemble the cloisonne technique of enameling. I was always fascinated by enameling and wanted to try it, but haven't had the opportunity yet due to lack of proper tools and material.
I love making earrings too, so here I have tried to use easily available materials to make a pair!!!
P.S. Please do bear with me if a explain too much . This is my first instructable!!!
Basic concept: In cloisonne technique design in wire are soldered or glued to a metal sheet and sprinkled with vitreous enameling powder which melts when fired in a furnace. You read a more detailed description of this technique here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloisonn%C3%A9
- Any soda can
- UHU ( you can use any other glue which is transparent and adhers to metal surface)
- glass painting colours( readily avaliable in craft shops)
- 18 gauge copper wire ( you can use jewellry making wire avaliable in craft stores)
- metallic powder( I have used copper colour to match the wire)
- enamel varnish
- 22 gauge copper wire ( to make ear wire, you can use ready made ear wires)
- round nose plier
- wire cutter
- sand paper
So today I am using the bottom of a soda can as base sheet because it is sturdier than the sheet and has a curve which offers more dimension to our piece.
I am using copper wire as I had some left from previous project but i think a brass or aluminium wire will also work as long as it is pliable.
I am using UHU to glue the wire on the base and glass colours instead of enamel powder as they are more viscous , transparent and bright.
Step 1: Prepare the Base
First cut the bottom part of the can with a cutter. Trim it down with scissors till you reach the inner most edge. cut two leaf shapes from the circle. make sure both are of same size and shape. you can use two whole circles two if you like large sized earrings.
Sand of the edges as they a very sharp.
Step 2: Make Your Design
Now you need to decide design.
You can go freestyle like me or trace the outline of your base on a piece of paper and draw a design for your wire. keep the design simple for the first time. it can be in waves and spirals or simple lines which divide the space into small compartments.These compartment will hold our colours. If your design is assymetrical, then your your earrings should be mirror images of each other. ( I made that mistake)
Step 3: Pasting Wire on Your Base
Start bend your wire with your round nose pliers with the help of your drawing. as we will be working on the convex side of the base the wire elements should correspond to the curve . Remember to give a border of wire to your whole base( it can be in two parts) as this wire will hold the colour. Now start pasting your wire to the base. Use tweezers to paste the wires on the base. Make sure that whole wire touches the base or else the colour will ooze out and mix with each other. There is a room for little mistake as this process is quiet forgiving.
Step 4: Be Colourful!!!
Once your whole design is pasted and dried decide your colour combination and start colouring. You can use a brush but I used the bottle directly.
Colour in layers. Let the first coat dry then follow it with the second coat to give it the feel of enamel.
Step 5: Add Some Bling!!!
You can skip this step but i wanted to add some bling to my earrings and so painted the central portion with some metallic copper paint.( I used metallic copper powder mixed in enamel varnish)
I also added a bead element at the top. you can use any bead as per your colours. I used a turquoise coloured onyx. Use a 3 cm copper wire to wrap the bead.
Step 6: Make Some Earwires....
You can use ear wires available at craft stores. but i made some as i wanted them to be in copper.
Cut two 5 cm wire and shape them with your round nose pliers.
Hammer them lightly to harden them.( yes, that is my hammer from stone age)
Step 7: Assemble...
Attach your bead element and ear wires to your base and your done. you can give your earrings a protective coating of enamel varnish or lacqure. just avoid the knots as they might stick due to varnish.
Step 8: Variations...
You can experiment this technique on different things. like use soda bottle caps or scrap metal sheet in shape of your choice.
I did some experiments on the whole bases of the soda can, on both concave and convex surface. so go ahead and make one for yourself!!!