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Enamel Flaws


Regarding a recent post about cleaning enamel.

I would suggest caution when getting enamel near pickle. Some enamels
are acid sensitive. It would be best to test fire samples of the
enamels being used in the piece to see if there is reaction before
unwittingly “altering” your precious enamel. Years ago I pickled 2
matching enamels to remove firescale. I usually worked with silver but
these were large enough that the metal cost would be a concern so I
was working on copper with silver wires. I probably left them in the
pickle longer than I should have but what happened was the enamel lost
the gloss. When I fired them the enamel pulled away from the wires and
couldn’t be repaired. The money I saved by working on copper was lost
by having to do the 2 pieces twice. I learned a few lessons that day.

The cleaning required to remove grindings from an enamel before
firing is usually sufficient with a glass brush, detergent and a
little ammonia or an ultrasonic if you have it. The game plan is to
remove any impurities before firing before they become permanently
imbedded in the enamel. My final step in cleaning is to rinse in
distilled water. There can be impurities lurking in hard tap water
that will affect your enamels.

Orchid Rules!..Karla in rainy S. California