High fire enamelling technique over textured copper

I nearly forgot about technique a week, I have been so busy moving my blog and updating Fired Art Jewellery with new items in time for St Valentines day.

I like working with techniques where you are not quite in control, when I paint watercolours it’s techniques like wet in wet and salting, with onglaze painting I’ve developed my own very wet technique which is not the typical way of working when china painting. Wiltshire Trees is probably my own favourite painting that I’ve done using this technique.

hand painted chinaHigh fire enamel technique is one of those that breaks the rules usually adhered to when enamelling. More later, it’s time for a cup of tea!

I’ve been a bit slack keeping up to date this week, other computer stuff got in the way, and I’ve been unable to find all the photo’s , I have come to the conclusion they were deleted .

Getting back to high fire technique for enamelling, I was first taught this technique on a course at Urchfont Manor, and I’ve continued to experiment with it since then. Like I said already this is a rule breaking technique, firstly there is no need to degrease or clean the copper before enamelling. I’ve discovered that adding a bit of grease from your fingers from the side of your nose is enough to get a change in colour. I’ve found that supersoft flux over clean copper turns golden but over greased copper  where firescale happens it goes red. So now I can have some control . The second rule breaker is there’s no need to clean off fire scale.

The technique uses supersoft flux fired to about 800C , I  like to add some black or white enamel, or even a little bit of colour. The pieces are fired repeatedly until you get a look you like, sometimes interesting things happen, maybe some green will start to appear.

The key to success is knowing when to stop , I’ve had pieces go completely black as they were over fired.



A selection of high fire technique



High fire enamelled copper pendant

This one is a keeper, I think I’ve managed to totally capture the essence of the inspiration, which was the peaty river Wharfe. Sunlight playfully dancing on the water and reflecting the odd bit of blue breaking through in the sky.





So the moral of this tale is knowing when to stop. This week I thought I’d experiment and see what high fire technique would look like over textured copper. I put some blanks through the rolling mill and played with the technique, the initial look was a success, and I did take pictures along the way but it looks like they were deleted before saving to my pc. I’m afraid I can’t photograph the finished result as I didn’t heed my own warning and the piece went black, so it went in the bin. Ah well you win some and you lose some, nothing exciting came from playing safe. I’ll have to make time and have another go, who knows what I might discover next time.



About eganj1

Obsession making arts crafts, and all things creative
This entry was posted in enamel on copper, kiln fired art, Metal, Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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