This article describes a micro vacuum cleaner, based on an
aquarium pump, for use by enamelists. The vacuum cleaner allows for
cleaning up sifted or spilled enamel. It offers an alternative to
wet packing when doing cloisonne, and you can use it to create
lines and designs. There are probably lots more uses that I haven't
My first thought after reading this was “Cool…a new application
Then it occurred to me that the enamel used here needs to be really,
really well washed so that all the fines are removed. If not, a
device like this seems prone to creating airborne enamel powder.
Maybe all the large particles stay in the tip/tube but what about
the fine ones? Doesn’t the air that comes in to the device to
create the suction have to go out somewhere?
In fact, I’d think twice about this even if I was sure my enamel
was well washed. It’s very hard to know if you’ve got all the fines
out of a powder…and the most undesirable airborne particles are
the ones you can’t even see!
Call me paranoid, but with enamels I’m in the “wet is good” camp.