Friday, November 30, 2012


We learned the basics of enameling earlier in the Autumn. The used materials are enamel powder, which is glass, and copper. You put the pieces in a special oven for a minute or so to melt the enamel.

First, you cut a piece of copper. Then you file the corners, make a hole and scrub clean with a metal wool. Then you wash the piece and dunk it in raw alcohol. The alcohol is for cleaning finger prints. When alcohol has evaporated, you brush a thin layer of lavender oil on copper. That keeps the powder on its place. Then you add a thin layer of enamel and move the piece on a metal net stand and put the piece in the oven. Remove the piece and let cool.

Four techniques. Above left: Cardboard stencil is used to make the white picture. First you make the first layer and let cool. Then you add the picture and reheat the piece.
Above right: Cloisonne enamel. First you twist copper wire and put it on enamel powder layer, then you heat the piece. Let cool and paint the other colour, here red. Reheat.
Down left: On the first layer you add the second colour. Then you scrape away the powder starting from the center and moving over the edge. Reheat the piece.
Down right: Make the first layer, then paint with a stick and paint made of enamel powder and distilled water. Reheat.

Stencil carps.

Two first from the left have two coats of enamel under the fish shape to add depth.

This is what happens if the enamel powder layer is too thick.

Various pieces to use in jewellery.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Lampwork Glass Beads

I decided to learn something more in arts and crafts and started making glass beads. I write here something about the learning process and how-to's.

First, you need a fire-proof, ventilated place. The torch is not expencive but you cannot place it in your living room. You need gas for heating and oxygen for burning off the soot. If you work too close to the torch you'll glass will burn dirty gray. You need special glasses for working that prevent you from going blind.

The glass usually used is soft Effetre glass. The glass rod must have the same COE value. Efftetre has 104. If not, you end up making broken stuff. Even if you melted the glass rods together or grained everything very fine, the different glass types will separate.

You need bead separator mix and metal sticks used in welding. The metal must be heat-unconducting.

I'll write more about these things later.

We use different types of Efftre Glass rods. The clear and opaque ones, opal glass and stirkers. The light colours are softer than the dark ones. Opal glass makes a boiling effect on flame which I happen to like and the opaque colours usually create stripes even if you only used one rod. I like that too. The strikers change colour when heated, and they can strike back if heated too long. The red colour is difficult to achieve so the clear red glass objects are always more expencive.

After you had made the bead you put it in a special oven too cool down. The flame center is 1500 Celsius, further up 900 and the oven should be 490-500. If 600, the glass starts to melt again. The beads must be put in a hot oven and when you are done with all of your beads you turn the oven off. You can see the result the next day. In the picture one of my beads is stuck so I put it in the water. You use pliers to keep the stick put and carefully screw the bead off. The loose beads go in the water to help the separator come off. You also use a diamond file to scrape the bead separator off. You ALWAYS use water if you file or carve cold glass.