Monday, February 01, 2016

Enamel Adventures

Sometimes I drag my feet a bit but luckily I have a good metalsmithing friend who is always up for something new. It works beautifully when you don't have to go out and buy a bunch of material just to try a new technique.

So, the first foray into cloisonne enamel happened and I decided I like it alot. I have to shove all those visions of uptight, ridged, old school enamel and let it bubble around in my toolbox of creativity.

I also wanted to try setting an enamel piece in a metal basket, here's what happened.

Here the enamel pieces are finished and the design of the basket setting is in progress. I have not a clue how to actually do this so it's going to be a bit of trial and error.  Maybe mostly error, (chuckle).

The first time I did this I didn't plan prongs, thinking I'd just bend the outside spokes to hold the piece, but that's not good, prongs have to be fairly close to hold a piece securely.

So here I'm adding the upright prongs. This is some tricky soldering but a small hot flame seemed to do the trick.

Then I soldered the radiating spokes to the top piece.

I thought maybe I'd leave balled up ends on the pieces but I didn't like the look and it added to the weight, which was already pushing the limits.

Clean up in progress, how long do those prongs need to be? We shall see.

Getting there. I think this is where I broke a prong off and had to go back and solder on another one. I also cracked the edge of the enamel piece and had to send it back into the kiln.

Ta da! They are a wonderful pair of statement earrings, just a bit on the heavy side, not something I'd want to wear all day. They might make a nice couple of pendants too, but for now they're good.