Monday, 4 July 2011

Unpredictable Enamel

As every enamellist no doubt knows enamelling can be very unpredictable! You never know for certain that something is going to turn out the way you hope. Most times it does but sometimes....well..... it doesn't.

I've not had time to do any enamelling lately so last night thought I'd make a start on a couple of pairs of simple flat disc earrings - one opaque and one transparent with opaque on top. The counter enamelling (enamelling the back) went fine and after pickling
and cleaning the pair to be enamelled with transparent enamel I made a start on the first layer this morning.

No problem there.........until I picked up the first disc from the trivet and put it down to cool and it didn't lie flat! Looking at the back I could see this huge carbuncle had developed when I was firing the front - something that's never happened before. You sometimes get the odd bump or pit appear due to contamination but when it's on the back it doesn't matter too much........but this! I normally just fire the counter enamel to orange peel stage so it's still fairly bumpy so I didn't really notice anything untoward before I fired the front but there was obviously something there that really shouldn't have been and it must have been something fairly big!

To be honest I quite like the effect but the chance of reproducing it on the front of a piece is probably very unlikely! I'd love to know exactly what caused it so if anyone has any ideas please let me know.


  1. Ooh er - how peculiar! I've just taken delivery of my first batch of enamels so i'll probably have lots of oddities to show soon. I was supposed to go on an enameling course at the w/e but it was cancelled until August soooo - I'm going to follow your lead and have a go with the help of the Beaducation tutorial. Fingers cross :0)

  2. I've never tried enamel but I recently tried resin. The first one was great then I got a sort of crystalized lump on two and huge bubbles on a third. Still loving it as a new thing to play with though! xx

  3. It sounds as though resin is just as unpredictable as enamel :D

  4. I have never tried enamelling. This mistake does look really neat and it is sort of symmetrical with the hole! ~Val

  5. I am afraid of enamelling because of its upredictability of controlling it. But I am going to try this!

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