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Bead enamel

   1. What is a good aperture to keep the enamel smooth around
the bead and hold it in the kiln while firing.

This question confusing, support? Run a fine silver wire through
the bead hole and support on the trivet, so that bead is suspended.

   2.  I wet pack and when the enamel dries, of course, it would
fall of the round surface.  What do you suggest as a substitute
to water to keep the dry enamel on the bead.

Klyr-Fire is the only thing to use. It will hold the enamel in
place all around and it won’t fall off. But you will have to fire
slowly, I mean, put it in at 1425-1450 Degrees until the enamel
begins to slightly bead up, take it out and repeat until enamel is
smooth. Be sure not to over fire or you will have enamel on the
bottom of the kiln. The Orientals have another product, I
purchased sever years ago, Lotus powder? Or something like that,
check with Harlen Butt, it is what he uses I think on his vases.
I’ll check in the studio and see if I can find it and will let you

   3.  I have tried using solder when joining the two halves of
the bead together, but this does not react well with the
enamel....dark spots, etc.

Are you using IT solder? If not, that’s the only one to use with
enamel. Also, make sure there isn’t any solder on the surface you
are to enamel except the fine line at the joint. Also, fire the
piece several times without enamel, drop into pickle. This burns
off the alloys of the solder on the surface and leaves a layer of
fine silver then you shouldn’t have any dark spots.

   4.  I have also tried fusing but my fusing needs practice.
Any other suggestions you can give me about this process would be
very much appreciated.

Fusing glass? I went to San Francisco and took a workshop with Dan
Fenton. But there are some great books out there. It is really a
very different kind of firing. You really need to buy: “Kiln
Firing Glass, Glass fusing book one” by Boyce Lundstrom, it is in
paperback form and not too expensive. But you need to have a copy
at your kiln for reference, so getting it from the Library won’t
help. Read the whole thing! Then ask me some more questions as
you progress. Like enameling, it is definately an ART and not a
science. But great fun.

Hope this helps, just ask and you shall receive…Pat


Thank you for the valuable I feel like I have struck
gold! Sorry about not being clear on some of my questions. When I
mentioned = fusing I meant fusing the two silver halves of the bead
together instead = of soldering them together. Also, I just happen
to have some IT solder = just waiting to be used.

I will keep in touch and inform you of my progress in “the
adventures of = enammelled bead making.”

Thanks again.
Linda Crawford - Sunny in Willits, Northern CA, USA (finally)

Can the IT solder be used to make copper beads, too? I have seen
some beautiful work done on copper beads, and I have wondered how
they managed to solder them together. Wouldn’t it work if you
soldered both halves together, and then coper plated? Copper
plating is fairly easy to accomplish. Anne

The solder shouldn’t really be a problem, as the seams should fit
exactly together anyway, clean off any extra IT on the surface and
enamel right over it. It really shouldn’t show…Pat