Thursday, 28 August 2014

Pendant

Framework created from Fine (99.9%) Silver

Enamels are added as a paste mixed with pure water. Pure water is used to prevent contaminants that can effect the colour and clarity of the glass.
the work is llowed to dry on the top of the kiln. This prevents bubbles being formed as the water boils off in the kiln.
Work is placed on a mica sheet to prevent enamels falling out in klin, the glass does not adhere to the mica

Work is fired at high (900 c) temp quickly
At high temp enamels change colour
after cooling more enamel may be added to build up the work where shrinkage has occured
Finished piece after sanding




Thursday, 21 August 2014

Enamelling pt2

Having created the framework the next step was to fill it with glass. I started by adding clear flux or clear glass suspended in water. Surface tension allows the mix to hang between the spars. the piece was then fired and hopefully the glass melts across the gap.
Framework being prepared on workbench

Piece being fired at about 800 C


Once the piece has had the initial firing coloured glass can be added to each cell and returned to the kiln. This is repeated several times until the desired effect is achived.


Piece after initial firing showing flux filling the cells.
The piece is then ground down to create an even surface and to remove any glass on the surface of the silver. It is then placed back in he kiln briefly to melt the surface of the glass to create a polished surface.
This was my first attempt at this technique and I am generally happy with the result and have learnt a lot that I will be able to use in future projects.

Friday, 15 August 2014

Enamelling part 1

 A while ago I acquired a kiln but I never really got around to using it for enamelling. In the last few weeks I thought I would give it a go, so I did some research on technique (I love YouTube) and fired it up. The first picture shows my first attempts at enamelling on Silver. One thing I learnt is you need to use Fine Silver which is 99.9% pure, if you use Sterling the small amount of Copper in the metal comes to the surface as black firestain when it is fired preventing the glass from adhering to it. This meant I needed to buy new raw materials and special solder. My first efforts shown below were on prepared blanks and turned out really nicely.

1st attempts
 


The piece I am now working on is far more ambitious  and will involve a technique called Plique-à-jour (French for "letting in daylight"). A framework of Silver is constructed and the gaps between the spars are filled with enamel creating a stained glass window effect. the photo below shows the early stages of the construction, it still needs more spars to added and the whole piece needs to be cleaned and tidied up before any glass can be added.

Silver wing framework
I will of course be adding more pictures as I work on the piece.