Friday, April 20, 2012

Experiment two..

I have some copper blanks which I bought ready made, discs and shapes, but for me they are a bit big and heavy so I really need a disc cutting set and some thinner gauge copper.

In the meantime, I used the rolling mill to take the thickness down, and just used shears on the resulting pieces, then hammered and shaped by which time they were nice and stiff again (last thing you want is to put enamel on a flexible piece of metal as it will just crack off)

I enamelled the smaller squares by holding them at the very edge and just managed but I think I'll either make a hole in the middle in future or work out some sort of tripod and mesh affair to heat them on.

The edge of the pink on one of the pieces cracked a bit as it was quite a thick area of glass but I reheated, pulled off a bit of glass and flame annealed more carefully so we'll see if it has solved it.

The headpins are just an ongoing challenge, for some reason they are one of the more difficult things to get the glass to stay stuck to! I made four, only two have survived to the photo and who knows if any make it through the night :-)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

some worked, some didn't..

I think this is where you discover whether the 'copper' beads you bought are actually copper or have something else in them.. several of the items fizzed green sparks like a firework (which would imply copper present) but the enamel wouldn't stay on and flaked off quickly afterwards revealing a brassy colour metal surface so I think maybe they weren't right..

However, the headpins worked and the flat copper shapes, I hammered some discs and drilled, and made a version of Barbera Lewis' fab projects with layered discs and a headpin through the middle. (see above)
Will have to think of what to make, they seem a bit heavy for earrings! Need to buy some thinner gauge copper sheet and cut smaller discs, a disc cutting set would be rather nice too.. I feel a shopping list coming on!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

three years later.. hi again!

I thought I would ressurect my blog as I start out with flame enamelling. I am still lampworking and my designs have changed a fair bit since this blog was last updated. I hope to have more time now to keep up with it but time will tell!
I have always loved enamelled jewellery, and have some lovely brooches by Jane Moore, however as she became more and more skilled so her work lost it's appeal for me, looking too factory made and not hand done by an artist.
For a long time I have had an interest in learning enamelling myself, it wasn't one of the myriad craft areas we explored at uni, however I am a bit impatient and prefer instant results, to see things being transformed in my hands in front of my eyes, which is why I never got around to it, too much preparation and too many stages for me to hold my interest..
Until I discovered that you can enamel metal in a flame! I already have the propane/ oxygen torch set up for lampworking, so I had to do very little really, just get hold of the right enamels and have a go.
My first attempts have been very promising, but with things to figure out and much to learn.
Tomorrow I'm planning to have a little play - perhaps I'll have something to post!