|Before: Copper pipe|
Today we decided to cut up pieces of pipe and use those pieces to make enamel beads. We had two choices when enameling the copper pipe beads. We could use our kiln or we could use our torch. Both methods produce different results. We opted to torch fire the enamel beads because we wanted a more organic feel.
We will show you how we use the copper enamel beads we made in another upcoming NJAD blog entry.
Thompson's enamel for copper
Jewelry saw & blades
Soldering tripod or trivet
|Mark copper pipe|
Mark the pipe with a marker or scribe. Use a jewelry saw to cut pieces of pipe.
|Cut copper pipe with jewelry saw|
File and then sand the edges of the cut beads until smooth.
Clean the copper beads with acetone and then rinse with water (to remove acetone residue). Enamel will not "stick" if the copper is not completely clean.
Spray the copper bead with Thompson's Klyr-Fire so the enamel powder will better "stick" to the copper pipe.
Place the enamel powder in a sifter and sift the enamel evenly over the copper pipe. Let the enamel dry on the pipe before firing. NOTE: You can hasten the drying by waiving the torch over the enameled pipe.
Place the enamel covered pipe on a trivet or soldering tripod.
|After: Torch enameled beads by GeltDesigns.com|
The flame of the torch can produce a smokey iridescent look. Sometimes the smokey look is desirable (as it looks a lot like raku firing on ceramics), other times it is not. Since we wanted an organic look, we allowed the enamel to fuse until it was slightly over-fired achieving a "raku" look.
Tip: You can fire enamel multiple times until you get the look you want. To get rid of the discoloration on one side of the enamel (or to change the surface of the enamel from smooth to orange peel), just turn the piece over and re-fire from the bottom. The front surface should clean up.
Make Earrings from Copper Pipe and Wire
Make an Enamel Necklace from a Copper Pipe
Make a Beaded Bracelet with Copper Pipe & Wire
Make a Neck-Ring from Copper Pipe
Make a Bangle Bracelet from a Copper Pipe
"The Art of Enameling: Techniques, Projects, Inspiration by Linda Darty"; Linda Darty; 2009.
"The Art of Fine Enameling"; Karne L. Cohen; 2004.
"First Steps in Enameling"; Jinks McGrath; 2003.
"The Jeweler's Directory of Decorative Finishes: From Enameling and Engraving to Inlay and Granulation"; Jinks Mc Grath; 2005.
Month 5. Jewelry from Found Objects. $ spent: 0
Found materials: Copper pipe
New Jewelry a Day.