Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Manor House enamelling

I'm back again with a post about the enamelling class I took with my lovely mum on our holiday at The Manor House Hotel.  Blogger is telling me I've spelt enamelling wrong, it thinks I'm American.

Enamelling is a technique done on copper blanks. I'm sure you can do it on silver too, but that would be expensive.  It involves enamelling powder (glass?), small chunks of glass, strings of glass and millefiori beads.  I'm sure there is much more you could add, but this is what we had.  

This first picture shows my first piece.  I put it together on the little metal rack and then put it into a kiln for about 3 minutes until it all melted.

Here is how it turned out:

I'm really pleased with it, it's not quite as blurry as this photo suggests!  It has a little hole (at the bottom, the photo is upside-down) so I can make it into a pendant.  I think the middle bit with the white stringers looks like Chinese writing. 

Here is how the back looks after being in the kiln.  A bit of the enamel bled onto the back, I'll have to remove that with my pliers as it'll feel rough against my skin.

I didn't remember to take any more before photos I'm afraid, I tried my best all week to take progress shots, but this was my first class and we'd just driven for 7 and a half hours to get there!  This uses red powder which burns very easily, so I didn't add the millefiori as that takes longer to melt.  This pendant took just one minute to melt, it has burnt around the edges, but I quite like it.  I just added strings in red, orange and yellow.

Of course, when I saw the bunny blank, I had to make a bunny!  Nice and simple in a lazuli blue with a millefiori tail.  I made the diamond shape as a separately pendant but it didn't turn out as nice as I thought it would.  I think it will look good with the bunny if I can find a way to string them together.  I used millefiori and small chunks of glass on that one.  The first version didn't come out great, so I added glue, more powder and some more chunks and I like it better now.

We both really enjoyed enamelling, it's such a creative craft as you literally start with a blank slate.  I'm thinking of saving for a kiln next year and this would be top of my crafts-for-kilns list!

Next up, silk painting.

I'm going to be linking a lot of posts to Something New for 2014 this month, and this is another as I've never done enamelling before.

Celtic Thistle Stitches  


pennydog said...

That bunny is so cute!

Rachel said...

I'm not sure that they use silver as a base for enamelling - it may oxidise too quickly - but I know a lady who does portrait miniatures in enamel, and for some of her clients, she uses gold blanks, which can stand much higher temperatures, and more frequent firings.

I think the bunny with the millefiori tail is wonderful!

Flickenstichlerin said...

How great your enameling turned out. What a fun technique. I love the bunny.

Trina Autry said...

Being an American, I found your blogger comment quite humorous! LOL.
I must say, I love your bunny. Lazuli blue is absolutely gorgeous!!

Sandra :) said...

The green diamond and the bunny are my favourites - that looks like a FUN class!

Anonymous said...

Gorgeous! I really like enamelled jewellery, another cute bunny and other beautiful pieces - well done!

Sarah in Stitches said...

Very cool. I love that bunny! :D

SuperMomNoCape said...

So pretty... especially the first one. And you gotta love that bunny!

Jane Galley said...

This looks like a fun class, love the bunny

CeLynn said...

normally I would say the green one is best,but I do really love the second one you made with the red! What a fun class to take.

Nueyer Dua said...

Oooo.... I like the blue pendant! Looks like the colours I would have used if i had the chance to do something like that :p

Benta AtSLIKstitches said...

oooh, I'd love to try that! Im so glad you posted all these as a link at Fiona's