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Thread: Help!...Seeing red over enamels!!

  1. #1
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    Default Help!...Seeing red over enamels!!

    Having rediscovered an old stash of enamel powders last week and having great results with the random blue one I picked out, I have done some samples with the others...somewhat less successfully!!
    I know enamels do deteriorate with age and I haven't used these for years - so it might be that - but it seems to be the red, brown and purple colours that are just turning out yukky and I know reds can burn out if the temperature is too high.
    I do have an enameling book upstairs - but it is so much more fun to get it from you...the hands on experts!
    I fired the blue successfully at 800 this morning (I went for the middle of a range suggested by a website on enameling) ...should I go lower for the reds and purples?
    Any insight on the firing of enamels for a relative beginner would be great!
    Barbara

  2. #2
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    Hi Barbara
    It's because the oxides/metals they use to form the red enamels can react with the silver. (They are known for being the most difficult colours to achieve) Try firing a clear flux underneath then the red as a second firing
    Nic x
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  3. #3
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    Talking Thanks Nic...I knew I'd get an answer!!

    Thanks Nic, I'll have to have a rummage through my collection of cobweb covered pots to see if I have a clear flux. It was only a beginners kit from years and years ago so I can't remember what is in there. I can see a lot of potential in enamels with fine silver and pmc...as far as I'm concerned anyway...not that I'm that lazy but I hate all the cleaning up between firings on oxidising metals..it's so soul destroying! You don't lose the flow (or the will to live!!) with fine silver! I'll do a bit more playing with the blues anyway and then I'll invest in a few new colours. I don't think I can afford the Cooksons new kits though.
    I've just done another ring design- it's in the tumbler now - and a new batch of fine silver sheet was delivered from Cooksons yesterday... (beams with glee!)
    Barbara

  4. #4
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    Red face Next Question!

    Found some transparent flux!! Next question... Do you have to 'wash' flux? (Don't know if that is the term but I have been rinsing the enamels and getting rid of the white water that comes off them until the colour is 'clean')...I am poised for action!!
    Barbara

  5. #5
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    **Flicks through her enamelling books, errrrmm yes? maybe? probably can't do any harm, lol
    Nic xx
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  6. #6
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    Default Tee hee hee!!

    AH!!!! Finally got you!!!!! Tee hee hee..........

  7. #7
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    I would wash it as I used some flux on something the other day without washing it and it went cloudy... teach me to think "pfft... washing? I haven't got time for that kind of thing"

    Live and learn!

  8. #8
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    Default Thanks for your advice...

    Thank you both. I've had a little play on some 'scrap' pmc with the flux and the colours have come up much better...still a bit muted pehaps but that could be because of their age! I like them anyway so might have a go in a ring tomorrow and risk wasting a ring liner and pmc - gulp!
    Barbara

  9. #9
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    Hi, reds and pinks are really difficult on silver and even with flux I've never found them very successful. They should be fine on fine silver though. The colours that work best on sterling are blues, turquoise, greens and I do have a purple that works but is more of a maroon colour. I just stick with colours that I know work, which makes life a lot easier.

  10. #10
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    Wink Yep - I might stick with the blues..and greens...

    I'm really into the transparents at the moment and have just found an emerald green colour which I will have a serious go with tomorrow. I didn't think it would look good with the silver but my scrap sample looks great! And now I've seen your little Bleujenn Hammered link bracelet I might reconsider the opaques too!!
    Barbara

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