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Thread: Enameling is Ceramic enamel the same as Jewelry enamel for copper

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2022

    Default Enameling is Ceramic enamel the same as Jewelry enamel for copper


    I bought some enamels from the from someone but I think some are for ceramics and some for copper this is what he wrote back to me when I questioned him.

    There is no such thing as 'jewellery enamel' this is a marketing term used for hobbyists. The powders and the solids are all ground glass. I have used them on copper and steel, they were vitrified in a kiln. I have also screen-printed with them on to a transfer substance which is then applied to ceramics and again vitrified in a kiln. However, it is not to be confused with ceramic glazes.

    Everything you have is left over from my postgraduate course. The university only purchased enamels from W G Ball / Cooksongold. It is possible that some of the colours have been discontinued but they are still perfectly useable.

    The flux and onglaze in the tubs will need to be ground back down, it should then be sieved and can either be used as a dry powder or mixed with water for more painterly effects.

    The pink enamel D 3410 was the only one with a number is this one of your old enamels ?

    Thanks for any help Liz

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2009


    Are they leaded enamels? If the answer is "don't know", I'd suggest treating them as if they are.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Central London


    Yes, vitreous enamels can be used on a variety of metals for making jewellery. They can be fired in a kiln (preferred), or torch fired which is a much cruder process. Experienced enamellers will have their preferred sources.
    It is a huge subject, requiring a steep learning curve. You will need some introductory books, such as:

    Discover torch enamelling by Steven James, Enamelling by Ruth Ball, and/or The art of enamelling by Linda Darty.

    You will also need to attend a hands on course, or you will be completely at sea. Many aspiring enamellers give up in despair, and sell on their equipment at a loss.

    A less demanding alternative is cold enamelling, using resins. Welcome to the forum, Dennis.
    Last edited by Dennis; 14-04-2022 at 09:47 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2021
    Cape Town


    I'd love to know more as well. Although it seems you have the uncontaminated enamels from her - score
    I've acquired a large box of ceramic colourant samples but i find they all have kaolin in and are water soluble. Best I get is mixing them 50/50 with a clear flux and not firing for long or more than twice. The colours are dull compared to the frit/glass base enamel.
    Ive been looking for a mutual product that both ceramic and enamellists use as there are no powder enamel suppliers in Cape Town. So far there is crackle potential. For now I have lots of pretty colours taking up shelf space.


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