After a few weeks of concentrating on metalwork making hollow form pendants and earrings I needed a burst of colour so out came the enamel powders and some pretty pre-cut copper flower blanks. Yes I could saw out the flowers myself but I didn't :D
I felt like mixing up the colours a bit by sifting a mixture of opaque enamels together and firing at the same time. Previously I would only do one colour and fire it then add another colour, fire, then another colour but mixing the second layer of enamel colours saves time and doesn't do any harm. Mixing two different enamel powders won't result in a new colour as such, eg. mixing red and yellow won't produce orange but a speckled blend of red and yellow. Mixing similar shades is good as the different coloured speckles aren't as obvious so the end colour looks more solid. It gives you more options.
The earrings above are a base layer of seafoam then another layer of seafoam mixed with lichen and pea which produced a lovely sea green shade with sprinkles of brown and cream added on top.
I made a pendant with the same colours but this time I mixed the seafoam, lichen amd pea enamels and put them in a pot. The resulting colour was slightly different to the earrings but that's the fun of mixing your own blends - you don't know how they will turn out until you fire them the first time. You can then add another colour in the second layer to change the overall look if you want to. As I'm writing this I've had a sudden urge to try to achieve an ombre effect with similar shades of enamel. I think applying the enamels wet with a brush will be the way to go. This idea obviously need some thought.........
These bright young things, currently on their way to Oregon, are a mixture of sunset orange with sprinklings of scarlet, pink and brown. The pink completely disappeared in the orange and the brown is very subtle too (in other words you can hardly see it!)
I was asked to make the pendant for a custom order which means I'm now out of the cute flower blanks. I did create a few templates just in case I had a sudden rush of blood to the head and felt like sawing out my own flowers which I may do as I now do enjoy sawing which is something I never thought I would say, or I might just buy a few more which would be much easier if a bit more expensive!
I wanted to use up some sterling beads and spacers I've had for ever so combined them with some more mixed colour enamel discs and "lily pads". It's nice to do a bit of wirework every now and then!