Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Enamelers firing rack


#1

I am living in a small town in Mexico which does not sell stainless
steel mesh for me to make a firing rack to do some enameling. Besides
no firing rack I also have no trivets.

Can anyone give me info on what I can use to make trivets and firing
rack. I think copper, if I can find any will soften too much in the
kiln. What metals can hold up to the heat?

Do you know if I need special glasses? I have never used them in the
past but am wondering if I should think about starting.

Thank you for all your help.

Sharron


#2

Sharron,

I’m new to enameling, so look for info from others too. This having
been said, copper is an ideal medium for enameling, so it would not
be a good medium for a trivet or firing rack. Find a supplier of thin
stainless steel sheet to make your own. Look for a welder’s supply
company in your area.

Re safety glasses - if you are using a kiln, definitely YES! here
are two links.

The first is to a website I found which is a lampworkers’ forum.
Please pay particular attention to the posts by Mike Aurelius, who
owns a company which makes safety glasses for lampworkers. On this
discussion website you can learn the characteristics of the lenses
needed to protect your eyes while using a kiln.

The second link is to Mr. Aurelius’ company, where you could buy his
safety glasses. The glasses seem expensive. but you only have one
pair of eyes, and you use them a lot… not trying for wry humor
here but for sincere concern. If these glasses are out of your reach,
consider getting welding glasses for the times when you are opening
and closing your kiln door.

http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/ep7zgn
http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/ep7z8j

Hope this helps,
Mary


#3

Copper is not suitable because it oxidises in the enamelling
atmosphere. On cooling the oxide spalls off and if it falls on the
enamel sticks to it and spoils the piece. Stainless is fine if you
can find it. Try your local scrap yard. If not then iron sheet or
mesh will do Lamp workers need them to cut out the sodium yellow
glare, for enamelling at a cherry red heat, its no different to
looking at an open fire of wood which Homo sapiens have looked at
for millenia.


#4

Hi Ted,

Copper has long been the preferred metal to use when enameling. I’ve
never had a problem with it and have been enameling and teaching
over 30 years. There are clay products available to use on the
exposed side to keep it from oxidizing and sometimes you want the
oxidation to enamel over. Lots of experimentation is a good thing.

I also enamel on sterling silver and fine silver. I prefer fine
silver.

The Enamelist Society will also disagree with you.

Copper is not suitable because it oxidises in the enamelling
atmosphere. 

Jennifer Friedman
enamelist & silversmith
Ventura, CA


#5

Hi Sharron,

The only metal to use to make trivets is steel. If you can find a
welder near you, you can design what you need. Special glasses for
the kiln are a very good idea, they protect your eyes from the heat
and color of the heat.

Jennifer Friedman
enamelist, jewelry designer/creator=


#6

Thanks for your email.

Sharron asked if copper was suitable for a TRIVET!!! not for
enamelling on. I replied as you read.

So were at cross purposes.

Ive been enamelling as well for 7 yrs before I moved over to soly
metalwork. Still have a large collection of Schauer Enamels I bought,
Visited their factory in Vienna several times. .

They made the enamels for Faberge. If good enough for him good
enough for me.

Also bought lots of pailions from Bayeler in Switzerland. There no
longer in business. do you know where one can get them today? In 1987
came by a complete drop stampers w/shop so have worked with that
since.

Google for ted.frater bronzesmith and minter. CV there. I plan to
combine my minting with enameling next year.

Thanksfor writing.
Ted.
Did lots of interesting work on copper fine silver and gold.


#7
The only metal you can use to make a firing rack is steel.

This is not true. You can make firing racks yourself using a bit of
niobium wire.

I am sure that titanium wire also works fine. You can make yourself
a firing rack using kitchen aluminium foil - it’s an alloy of
aluminium and steel; your temperature won’t destroy it, just make it
thick enough.

Jacques


#8

These people have all that stuff:
http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/ep7zgz


#9

Ted and others,

I was the first one to reply to Sharron’s question about an
enameler’s firing rack. So, the error in reading her question about
whether copper would be good for a firing rack… vs a trivet… was
my error.

Apologies to Sharron and to everyone replying to her questions.

Of course copper would be a great metal for an enameled trivet. one
would need to be sure that the copper is thick enough not to flex
under the weight of whatever is set upon it - flexing might crack the
enamel.

Apologies again, Sharron.
Mary