Eileen here, trying my hand at sending CC to all the Enamelists presently
in my little book. This is kind of a test, but will also pass on
as set in the subject line.
According to “Thompson Enamel Workbook”, written by Tom Ellis, Woodrow
Carpenter & Bill Helwig, lead free & lead bearing enamels may be used
together in the same piece as follows.
“Most Enamelists prefer to fire lead bearing enamel on top of lead free
enamel.” Using lead free transparents or opaque as a base coat, apply the
lead bearing opaque or transparent on top (after firing the base coat of
course). You can also wet pack them side by side or stencil them. In
Cloisonn�, individual cells can be packed with one or the other (in the
same piece). Of course, lead bearing can be applied to one side of a
piece & lead free to the other side “if the expansions are close.”
Everyone with me so far? Thompson goes on to say that you can break the
rule above, by firing lead free on top of lead bearing. “This results in
a textural surface which may add interest to a composition.” This is the
part where we’d all have to do some test pieces to see whether the
interesting texture is what we may want in any design. Just make sure
that you don’t contaminate your supply of lead free with grains from lead
bearing or vise versa, as “dimples will result in the fired enamel
The Workbook sells for $6.00 as listed in Thompson catalog No. 953. I
would recommend this to anyone using Thompson products or enamels. The
Workbook answers many questions I have had over the years. Very few of
Thompson products ever came with any instructions or so this
little paperbound book is great.
My next topic will cover Silver Plated Steel, which is a short paragraph
in the Workbook, but I can expand on that!