Thursday, 25 September 2014

Creating A Matt Finish On Torch Enamel Jewellery


Being a jewellery maker I love watching jewellery making videos, and especially learning new tricks that I can use on a technique I'm familiar with. A video I watched recently was Further Explorations In Jewelry Enameling: Kiln Fired Liquid Enamel And Sgraffito With Susan Lenart Kazmer. I don't enamel with a kiln but the techniques covered are still relevent for torch enamelling. It's a great video full of new ideas and Susan Lenart Kazmer is a likeable teacher.

One of the techniques covered was giving enamel a matt finish using Etchall etching cream. I've seen how lovely enamel jewellery looks with a matt finish and have always been intrigued with it and have thought of trying it myself in the past. The video showed how easy it was to achieve so I went on the cyber hunt for Etchall cream. I found some on ebay for £34 and another etching cream called Armour Etch. I really wanted the Etchall brand so started Googling it until I found some at a much more sensible price of £15.54 plus £2.95 postage from MDP Supplies.

Yesterday afternoon I decided to have a go........
I dug out some old enamelled bits I'd "tidied" into a plastic bag and forgot about. Some of them are pieces I started then decided for whatever reason {no idea!} to abandon and a couple were colour test pieces for a customer.


I cleaned the enamel by wiping over with kitchen towel to remove any dust or grease then applied the Etchall cream with a brush. I wore latex gloves as the cream will irritate skin.


The Etchall cream has the consistency of yoghurt and needs to be applied thickly and as evenly as possible. I went over any patchy areas with some more of the cream if it was needed.


After 15 minutes I used the brush to remove the etching cream and scraped it back into the pot as it is reusable, although for small pieces it's probably not worth bothering. I washed the rest of the cream off in water and dried the enamelled piece.




The result was a smooth egg-shell texture which I think looks great. It's very tactile and feels like smooth stone to touch.


I applied the cream to one side of this piece so the difference with the normal shiny finish can be compared. This piece had a layer of turquoise transparent over the opaque enamels before it was etched.


The green and pink flowers were half-finished abandoned pieces that had been enamelled with just one coat of opaque enamel so are a bit patchy but the etching cream worked well on them. I like the matt effect on the black enamel too.


In conclusion, the etching cream is a definite hit with me and something I will be using to give a variation in the finish of my enamel jewellery. It's so quick and easy to use. One of the advantages of using it is there's no light reflection on the matt finish which can be a nuisance when you photograph enamel stuff.
Now I just wish I'd tried it sooner :D


12 comments:

  1. What a great idea. Gorgeous matte surface. I can see that working wonderfully with resist patterns on top too. Lovely.

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    1. Thanks Nana. I have some small vinyl stickers that would work as a resist.........good idea!

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  2. With every visit to your blog it makes me want to venture into the world of enamelling more and more.
    Heather :)

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    1. Yes I have been a bit enamel obsessive with my posts recently!

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  3. I love matte finishes so these look fab to me! Have etched glass and stone with this product, but never thought of using it on enamel. Will have to try it now so many thanks for the tip!

    (My sis and I also chuck glass in a stone tumbler to give it that matte sea glass finish, but that might perhaps be too tough on enamel?)

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    1. Thanks Maneki. It isn't recommended to put enamel in a tumbler plus I think it would take a very long time to acheive a matt finish that way!

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  4. I love the results Tracy! Glare is a pain in the butt when photographing. The matte finish is also great for the end user since the jewelry will look consistent all the time. :)

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    1. Thanks Val. Now I'll have to make some more enamel jewellery so I can etch it!

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  5. I put my glass etch paste into a shallow container. Apply a loop of tape to the rear of the enameled piece and put it face down into the etch. Find it gives an even level etched surface compared to brushing

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