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Thread: Torch enamelling

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2009

    Default Torch enamelling


    As I posted above, I've been trying out torch enamelling with varying degrees of success. I wanted to ask if anyone else has given it a go, and can give me any tips? For example, I've read a Ganoskin article that says you shouldn't use leaded enamels for torch firing, but noone else has mentioned this in any of the books that I have/other online articles.

    Cooksons only sells leaded enamels, right? Where can I buy unleaded ones?

    Also, my test pieces of enamel on copper feel very grainy. My test pieces on silver feel much better. I'm more used to working with silver, so maybe that is a factor in it somehow.

    Anyway, i thought I would ask the experts for some advice!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2010


    Ah now, Cookson DO sell lead-free vitreous enamels from WG Ball (Eg: 860 332) and I'm glancing out of the window hoping the delivery-man will turn up with mine soon!

    I'll try a bit of torch firing when they come and feedback!

    WG Ball also sell their enamels directly (but a bit confusingly) and have very discouraging pictures of the colours on their website, which I'm assured are not representative.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2010


    I've become a torch-firing convert for smaller pieces....and have also had better luck with silver. Most of the copper tests I've done have produced a lot of cracks in the enamel. I heard the same rumour about not using leaded enamels, perhaps it is mostly a health issue. I mostly use lead-free, and the bulk of the colours I've bought so far have been direct from WG Ball, can't recommend them enough :-) As Joe pointed out, don't be put off by their colour samples on their website, you can see better samples on the Vitrum Signum site for example.

    I've had a long day at work so will leave it at that for now....but always happy to talk about enamels, despite still being a learner too :-)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2009


    I think the reason you shouldn't use leaded enamels for torch firing is for health and safety, though I do it all the time. There shouldn't be a problem with torch firing on copper, though you should really be counter-enamelling and you need a kiln for that. I always find I get more transparency if I fire in the kiln.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2010


    Ooo I just had a wander through Muranosilver's Flikr pages and she's made some lovely enamel tests from Vitrum Signum supplied enamels... I wonder if she could be persuaded to post them...?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Market Deeping


    Haven't done any for a while but these were all kiln fired...
    ALL of these are on fine silver (art clay) they will be different colours on copper!
    Soyer Jewellery Enamels (think known as Blythe in the states?)

    Opaque Enamels

    Another Mix

    Larger versions of the pics and some firing details are on my Flickr Enamels & Tester Set

    Incidently I have done some torch firing of enamels (learnt from Linda Darty ~ cause I'm a lucky gal!)
    You can counter enamel torch fired but the back will go a kind of pewter black when you fire the front
    (it's quite attractive)
    Some clear flux fired hot on copper make lovely colours as do some of the opaque reds
    (which get a kind of halo of brown red round the edge ~ yum)
    If I can find some out I'll post some torch fire pics

    Nic x
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2009


    That's brilliant, thanks for those pictures Nic!

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