Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Enamel flux turning yellow

Hi everyone. I’m new to cloisonné enamelling and am having trouble with my base coat.
When I fire it in the kiln it comes out with a yellow tint in it which can stay that way right until the piece is finished.

I have tried the following fluxes, all of which are intended for use on silver:

-‘W.G.Ball Leadfree Transparent Enamel Clear Flux, 477 for copper and silver’ (Comes out very yellow on silver)
-Latham Enamel Normal Flux T200
-Latham Enamel Silver Flux T232
-WGBALL Transparent Enamel Powder – Hard Silver Flux (7266)
-Milton Bridge 8102 Silver Flux

I have a small Prometheus kiln and fire my enamels at about 710 degrees celsius (1310 F) for about 2 minutes until glossy.

I wash the enamel and apply it wet packed or sift it.

I posted this question on the Grains of Glass website and someone kindly suggested I try “Soyer 3 for silver”, and while this has fired beautifully clear, it is leaded, so I can’t use my unleaded enamels over it.

Ideally I’d get an unleaded flux for silver that doesn’t yellow, rather than switch over all my enamels to leaded.

Is there anything I’m doing wrong from the above?


I’m not sure because as new as you are I am double new and very inexperienced, however all of my enamels came with instructions stating that they fire around 1500. Maybe try a higher temp?

I have zero reference for the heat they are actually fired at since I am blasting them w my torch.

I have had less than stellar effects w fine silver as well. Color is not that great, or way way off. I am sure it’s operator error on my part.

Looks as expected on copper tho.

Good luck- Janine

I use only leaded enamels. I use them on fine silver and copper. But I did a search for Thompson’s lead free enamel for find silver. Thompson says their 2020 flux will not yellow on silver. You can give it a try. Or one of their others. (They have lots of different fluxes) Or you could just switch to leaded. I think you would be happier in the long run.

Thanks for your replies :slight_smile:

Janine- I was watching the expert enamelist Ricky Frank on YouTube and he reckons that there’s no fixed temperature per se due to differing kilns, size and thickness of a piece, etc. The key is just to fire it until glossy. Although some colours are hard firing like whites and some pastels, and others low firing like pinks and reds. Other people swear by certain fixed temperatures though. It all seems to boil down to what works for you. I mainly torch fired for several months until I could afford a kiln, so I know the frustration of funky results and colours. Good luck as well.

@Poodlepup3 I think I will probably end up switching to leaded enamels once I start to run out, mainly because I’ve found the most reliable pinks and oranges are Japanese leaded enamels, so may as well entirely switch over (great username by the way! Lol)

Thanks again for your suggestions. Much appreciated :slight_smile:

I’ve been using Thompson enamels for some years and you will find that each enamel has its own properties…you will find that base coats of, for instance 2010, will clear up oxides with a long heat at 1450+ F. Other clear enamels fire at higher (harder) temps (and lower, softer). Also you will find that unfortunately and occasionally there are variabilities in batches.
I do know of an enamelist who produces very fine work and who will only use expensive Japanese materials due to their reliability and quality.
One of the best basic books on enameling is Linda Darty’s; The Art of Enameling: Techniques, Projects, Inspiration. And I find myself going back to it regularly for guidance.

1 Like