Enamel On Fine Silver

This year marked a new direction for my craft. I made pendant designs with enamel & cloisonne on fine silver. It's an extremely time consuming & detailed endeavor requiring many steps and a steady hand. The love of working in a very detailed manner helps a lot. See the process on my YouTube videos...link at bottom of this page. 

Enameling studios require constant cleaning so no dust or contaminants affect the end result.


Prep work
1 Set up studio with 3 tables 1ea for firing, enameling, metalwork/drilling/grinding
2 Make granules out of fine silver or gold cloisonne wire with torch on charcoal. They will later be melted onto the surface of the glass in the final step
3 Cut silver & gold foil- set aside for future use
4 Rinse transparent enamels as needed. Opaque enamels do not require rinsing
5 Make glass cabochons


Prepping the blank
6 Stamp or saw shape from 99.99% fine silver sheet metal
7 File edges
8 Drill hole
9 Stamp with signature
10 Texture if desired with hammer or dremel
11 Clean vigorously with ammonia & water & liquid ivory snow. Dry thoroughly. Touch only the edges while handling thereafter
12 Apply flux by sifting to the topside and fire 
13 Counter enamel the back side
14 Bend cloisonne wires (this step requires ultimate attention to detail)
15 Cut bezel wire to set fused glass cabochon, shape into circular fitting
16 Set cloisonne wire or bezel after first firing
17 Set stone or glass cabochon into bezel
18 Fill cloisonnes with enamel & fire (repeat 5 to 9 times) working from lightest tones to darkest
19 Redrill hole that has unfortunately filled with glass with drill press & diamond bit
20 Grind flat & smooth to expose wire
21 Rince under water with Alundum stone & glass brush. Dry thoroughly
22 Fire again
23 Add moriage (piling up of glass powder for textural details)
24 Drill "dents" for granulation (if desired)
25 Add to the surface in the final firing... granulation (tiny silver balls) &/or gold foil capped with enamel

Viola...finis!

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