Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

[Enamel Bits] Finishing Cloisonne


Jeff, Diamonds! Diamond files, diamond burs & some sticks with
graded diamond stuff on them. Okay, where are these things?
From Gesswein you can get diamond bur sets for rotary hand
pieces. I use the burs when a cloisonne wire falls over & I
have to remove it from its embedment in the enamel. I also use
them to grind out air pockets that sometimes occur or pits or
really bad areas. Use with water, to protect the bur & as a
lubricant. Gesswien also has diamond needle files. I only use
the equaling file (gets enamel off the tops of the wires & for
the edges of a piece if the enamel has slopped onto it) & the
round file. Diamond works quickly. Gesswein order line is:
1-800-243-4466 & internet address is:

I’ve only ever ordered the carborundum stones from Thompson
Enamel, they come in two grits, one more aggressive than the
other. You grind the top of the enamel down under water. I use
a plastic dish bin so I can sit during some of this process.
The stones will also grind edges. Thompson Enamel:

For diamond sticks: I’m sure they have another name, but the
brain isn’t working well today. This is a plastic stick with a
pad of diamond at one end. It comes in different grades, like
sand paper, 400, 800 & 1200 I think. I use it again under water
when I want a delicate touch to just clear the enamel off the
wires. These are available from Enamelwork Supply Co., my
favorite people to work with. 1-800-596-3257 They are always
adding nifty tools & things to their catalog, so have them send
you that and the updates.

My other source for diamond files has been Alpha Supply, Inc.
They are a jewelry & Lapidary supply company. Order line
1-800-ALPHA 11, Fax (360) 377-9235. As they cater to the small
consumer, their prices are a bit higher for some things, but
then you don’t need to buy a “lifetime” supply of anything. The
price on the diamond needle files from the 96/97 catalog was
$11.31, which I thought the best price.

Glass brush: This is what you burnish out all the grit on the
enameled piece after you get done filing. Also sometimes used
is a solution of water & ammonia, to make sure that you get all
the grit lifted out. But you must then cancel out the ammonia
by cleaning before you fire for the last time to heal the
surface back to shiny. The other thing that the stones are good
for is if you want a matte or satin finish on your work. You
probably won’t want the satin finish too often, but it has some
appeal on opaque enamel works. The finish should be absolutely
flat & level. Time, muscle & stoning is what satin finish
takes. I wouldn’t try to cut corners by using a glass etchant.

Eileen Schneegas
Middlesex, England
Snow Goose Designs, Metal & Enamel Art