Now my question: I have always enameled bowls on both sides, I
assumed it was nescessary. ... you didn't need to enamel both
sides of bowls. ... how do you keep serious fire
scale from developing on the outside of the piece and pinging off
to attach to the hot inside enamel of the bowl?
Hi Karen - While my experience is quite limited (only 2 bowls to
date - the first of which suffered a eutectic meltdown at the
very end) I can say you are quite right !! It is nearly
impossible to keep the firescale from creating floaties in the
1) Really good coats of scalex can help, but you have to redo
this every time you fire
2) Pickling your piece regularly will help, which in your case
may not be too difficult, since you are enamelling the inside of
your bowl & should be able to keep the pickle away from your
enamel. Otherwise you have to be very sure that you have a good
solid coat of enamel on the surface so that the pickel doesn’t
creep inside & get under the glass.
I recently finished reading (for the first time only) Margarete
Seeler’s book “Enamel Medium for Fine Art”. The process she
describes for doing a plique-a-jour cup involves using counter
enamel on the surface of the cup that will later be removed.
Her position is that because copper and silver both expand and
contract so much with the heat/cool down cycle, it is necessary
to use counter enamel in order to get a good surface (free of
pits and cracks) on the enamel side that is the “keeper”.
After her cup is complete, she removes the counter enamel (from
inside the cup in this case) by using an acid that will etch
away the counter enamel and not the copper. After neutralizing
the cup, she then uses a different acid to eat away the original
copper cup, leaving the net of cloisons and enamel.
Her process is really interesting, and am hoping to try it (I
have a chemist friend who has a hood I plan to use also!). The
book has much more detail & if you are interested, Email me
offline and I’ll be happy to send you more detailed excerpts
from the book itself. One other thing that I have discovered in
reading her book, is that in the classes I took to learn
enamelling, I did many more firings than I really needed to do.
I think that this was primarily because in a classroom setting,
you don’t have the luxury of keeping your work out until you
have all your wires set and/or cloisons filled before you fire
the first time. What a difference it makes! (Sometimes I’m a
little slow at these things!)
Don't figure that I've offered anything that you haven't
already done, but you do have my sympathy for the situation that
you have !!
Towson, Md -- Really hot and humid this week and because my
house is being painted and is open, I don’t have A-C on…