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Enamel Jewelry

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Author Topic: Enamel Jewelry  (Read 248 times)
Taogem
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« on: February 09, 2008, 03:32:09 am »

Enameling is the fusion of glass to metal under high heat conditions. It is an art form that dates back to the ancient Egyptians. One of the most famous examples of enameling is the gold mask of King Tut. There are several enameling techniques. Some involve how the metal is prepared, and some involve how the enamel is applied.



Hermes Enamel Bracelet

Narrow enamel bracelet in silver and palladium plated (2.5" diameter)

Enamel

Enamel is powdered glass that is somewhat finer than granulated sugar. It is also the word used to describe a metal object, such as a piece of jewelry, that has been decorated with enamel. Several techniques can be used to apply the enamel, but all methods use heat to melt the powder. Enamel particle size is measured by mesh size: the higher the mesh size, the finer the enamel powder.

The piece is heated either in a preheated furnace, or with a hand-held torch. At roughly 1500 degrees Fahrenheit, the heat fuses the enamel permanently to the metal base. The piece is then removed and allowed to cool to room temperature. Subsequent coats can be applied. Sometimes then to twenty firings are required to bring about the desired results.



The Fellowship Link Enamel and Sterling Silver Bracelet

Enamel Jewelry

Unlike jewelry made with precious or semi-precious gemstones, enamel jewelry derives its value from the design and the skill of the craftsman. Once the enameling process is complete, the enameled piece is ground and polished to a jewel-like brilliance.

The physical properties of glass can be controlled to permit bonding to most metals-gold, platinum, silver, copper, steel, cast iron, aluminum and titanium. Enamel jewelry can also be made by using stainless steel or some other alloy as the background material.



Enamel Beads

Enamel beads start with a small piece of copper tubing. Then you apply the glass, a layer at a time, using a small propane torch. It's fun, quick, and easy - you don't even need a kiln.

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