Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Enameled Copper Pendants

Sonya and I had a metal studio playdate yesterday, and I made these enameled copper pendants:

After cutting and prepping the copper, I textured one of the pendants (the reddish one at bottom left) with the Sissix Big Shot. I knew from previous experience that texturing pendants before enameling is often wasted effort, because as the enamel liquefies, it tends to pool in the depressions of the texture, obliterating any texture you've worked to achieve. But I had a plan for that!

I applied 3 coats of clear enamel via torch immersion, so that the front and back were well covered. For the blue and green pendants, I chose opaque colors, placed the pendants on trivets, and sifted on the chosen colors (lichen for the green, peacock for the blue). For the textured pendant, after placing it on a trivet, I sifted on a transparent color (raspberry), hoping that even when the enamel pooled, the fact that it was transparent would allow the texture to show through. Then I fired them in the kiln.

After cooling, I sifted one more coat of the chosen color on each pendant, and then started decorating. I had wanted to try kiln-firing for these because I was hoping that the even heat of the kiln would allow the large millefiore pieces to flatten nicely; they flattened some, but not entirely. But firing these in the kiln was so much easier than in the torch (and preserves my precious MAPP gas!) that I am going to make all my pendants this way - the initial coating in the torch puts on a "sealant" coat of enamel that prevents firescale in the kiln, so I didn't have to worry about using Klyr-Fyr, sifting on the enamel, waiting for it to dry, then flipping the piece over, only to have most of what I had just applied fall off. No more worrying about firescale and counter enameling - successful experiment!

Plus, 3 cool pendants!

After finishing my enameled pendants, I switched gears and starting working on some cold connections projects. It's been ages (it seems) like I did some metal work like this, except for the clasp I made for my partner for the recent Bead Soup Swap - and I guess I'm not counting that because I gave it away.

I got several things started, but not finished, so I'll be working on them later this week, and hopefully sharing them soon!


Katherine at Terra Beadworks said...

I am so glad to see creative people like you take risks. I have a box of enamels, lots of glass and murrini and even a kiln so have been dying to try enameling. It's just a matter of getting the area ready .... Moving you know! You have given me some ideas and hope so thanks for that. I like the layers of color evident.

PussDaddy said...



Sweet Freedom said...

Thanks, Katherine - you just have to go for it!

Sweet Freedom said...

PD -So good to see you!

dreaminofbeads / SAS Jewelry Designs said...

They look really cool!

Micheladas said...

wow.. those are amazing.

BackstoryBeads said...

They're all fabulous, but I really like the blue pendant. It looks very close to Pantone's Olympian Blue from the Fall color palette - I would love to pair it with black and white.