Wednesday, June 9, 2010
A Lot of Heat, No Kidding
At Artfest I took two classes that involved enameling copper. I've been wanting to add some enamel color to the pewter pieces.
Finally the weather was warm and dry, and I could set up the glass topped table outdoors and play around with enamels.
I had all the supplies, but after reading a lot of safety information about using enamels, I decided not to use them inside the house, so I had to wait for all the rain to stop. Saturday was the day.
I cut some small strips of extra copper, so I could do tests with the four colors of enamels I bought a while back. I didn't know what the colors would look like. They're called Spring Green and Mocha Brown, Opaque White and Yellow Flax.
I want to get some Oriental Red, but I need to get a few more funds in the PayPal account before I do an order of enamels.
So these test strips are the colors I tried out first, so I'd know what they would look like. Before I cut some round copper and domed them, to try to make charms.
One thing I learned is that the torch is very, very hot and can burn up the copper. No kidding, that torch is super hot. I burned up this first set of domed rounds.
But hey, that's how you learn, right? You push to see where the limits are. How many times could I re-fire the copper, if I wanted to add layers to the color?
How far away from the soldering stand did I need to keep the torch?
How close did it need to be, and how many seconds, to get the enamel totally melted?
That's what I was experimenting to find out. Hope you don't mind seeing the failures, the ones that showed me how far NOT to go when using the torch.
Finally, after I kept trying, I got these two little sugar cherry domes, they remind me of candies. I balled up the ends of copper wires to make ruby colored balls and wire-wrapped them to make loops.
I know if I keep working with it I'll get better.
I went ahead and listed these drops in the Etsy shop, to test and see if any of you are interested in the enameled copper drops?
I think they'd be really sweet as earrings.
So - should I keep forging ahead with enameling?