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Enamel becoming matte in some areas

I use non-lead bearing enamels. The colors I have suddenly having
problems with worked just fine in the past. (Right now the problem is
with opaque enamels, I haven’t used transparent with this batch.)
This is a new problem that arose after successfully soldering over 20
pairs of earrings after the enameling was done and then pickling the
pieces. I usually solder a sterling post to a fine silver piece after
I am done applying enamel. I tried to solder the post before
enameling and it just got really black and the solder pitted. This
would lead me to have to pickle the piece anyway. I should mention
that it mattes irregularly, the entire surface isn’t matte at all,
just spots. I had been using a 3M wheel the clean up some enamel from
the edges of the silver between firings and had wondered if the dust
somehow affected the enamel and caused it not to fuse properly. I am
now rinsing before all firings and it seems to work. Fingers crossed.

thanks for the input!



If rinsing the piece is doing the trick it could be that your enamel
was contaminated indeed. It is always a good idea to rinse any piece
before firing. Using baking soda and rinsing well helps remove acid
and other contaminating substances.

As for solder, if you were to use IT solder ( or maybe even hard
sold= er) and protected the solder joint with yellow ochre, graphite
or water based white out your solder joint should not get pitted.
Maybe it is worth atry. You are brave, I would not solder a piece
after it was enameled.