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Enameling a cylinder



I need to enamel a 3 inch gold cylinder from the outside. It is not
neccessary for me to use real enamel as long as it give a good
smooth polished opaque color. It will be part of a half gold half
wood walikng cane.

My problem is when using brushable enamel paint it does not
disturbute smoothly.

any smart ideas???



Aslowly revolving motor ( I use one that rotates at 7 rpm) attached
to the tube so that it rotates on a horizontal axis will create a
smooth even surface. If you are creating a pattern you may run into
some difficulty with this technique. In which case paint the pattern
on, let it dry and then do a coat of clear over the pattern,
revolving it as it dries. Just a thought.

Frank Goss


I once enameled a very wide band as a ring. It had to be counter
enameled on the inside and, as I recalled, I laid it on it’s edge in
the kiln. I have also stitled piece and laid them on their sides
which worked. This little “bumps” from the stilts were sanded off.

Vicki Embrey


One of those Great Secrets. How did Faberge and others do that
beautiful work on eggs and cylinders when everybody knows it will
just gather at the bottom? It’s really quite simple - you get a slow
speed motor, like 25 rpm, put a spider on the shaft that will hold
the cylinder on the inside, and turn it on. A hand crank will do,
too, of course, but Ceramit takes 12 hrs. to cure. For hard enamel
you punch a hole in the side of the kiln - a glory hole, as they call
it in glassblowing.

I need to enamel a 3 inch gold cylinder from the outside. It is not
neccessary for me to use real enamel as long as it give a good
smooth polished opaque color. It will be part of a half gold half
wood walikng cane. 

Try using an epoxy enamel, like Ceramit. It can be filed, sanded,
and polished, and is quite hard when fully cured. It’s available in
opaque and transparent colors.

Matthew Crawford

Try using an epoxy enamel, like Ceramit. It can be filed, sanded,
and polished, and is quite hard when fully cured. It's available
in opaque and transparent colors. 

true enamel is GLASS, in powder form, that is fired onto metal at
temperatures roughfully ranging from 1450f. -1500f.

Ceramit is liquid plastic product that is cured onto a surface at a
very low temperature. this product does not have the scratch
resistance or beauty of true vitreous enamel.

ceramit has its place in REPAIRING a damaged piece, where the
previously fired enamel is an unknown factor Re: temperature and
origin of the initial enamel. it still is a poor match to the real

what’s the point of constructing this object out of gold, and
putting this second rate substitute on the surface. farm it out to
someone who knows enameling. another possibility would be to use the
plastic over a less expensive base, and have it plated before or

if it quacks like a duck…you might be turning this project into
duck soup… refer to Marx, Groucho…

Sharon Art Studio GG Park, S.F.
Richmond Art Center, Richmond, CA



If you are making a walking stick handle, there is nothing that
compares to good old fashioned hard fired enamel, if you can’t do it
yourself get it enamelled by an expert. I have made many stick
handles and I use engine turned tube, with hard fired transparent
enamels. The enamells are wet loaded, then fired and finally stoned
while revolving on a lathe, when you have an even suface, polish with
pumice powder then a final firing will bring back the shine. Here in
the UK I can get a tube cut and enamelled for about, and they are as
good as any Faberge’ product finish.

I have included a photo of one of my walking stick handles as an
attachment if you guys at Ganoksin want to post it somewhere, to show
the finished effect. If not the effect of transparent enamels on
engine turning (Guilloche) can be seen on some of my Orchid gallery

Good luck
James Miller


James Miller

What an extraordinary piece! Wow.

After 3 years of reading this wonderful conversation, I’m finally
compelled to jump in regarding enameling a cylinder for a walking

Abdulla…If your interested in something very simple, there are two
possible approaches…you could use liquid enamel (Thompson sells
these in powders that you can mix with water yourself, or you can buy
them pre-mixed)…a dip the cylinder… mix the enamel to a
consistency of cream in a shallow dish, dip, allow to dry and fire.
Once it’s dry, you could put it on end on a piece of mica, then you
would have to worry about propping it in the kiln. You could also add
a second layer after firing, and scraffito a design through it. All
sorts of cool options.

I’m also thinking that it wouldn’t be too hard to spray the cylinder
with klyrfire, and then sift powdered enamel over it. I do this with
3-D shapes all the time, (often both sides at once, but it takes a
lot of care)… .it’s finding a way to prop it in the kiln that’s the
tough part. I think you could do it, though…maybe with 2 triangular

Now I’m thinking that I need to try this.

Thanks to all for all of the wonderful on this exchange
site. The truth is that I JUST figured out how to write a reply!

Barbara Bowling
Louise’s Leap Studios
Boise Idaho


Using liquid enamels can work. You can dip or spray light layers on.
If you have access to a spraying booth, you can get the turn table to
turn the cylinder while you spray. Dipping can give you an uneven
build up, if you don’t have something which really holds the cylinder
well without getting in the way.

The trick is to do light layers and thoroughly dry each layer in
between. The layers must be light or you get slumping. Of course if
they’re too light, you get spots. While I haven’t tried it yet, I was
thinking that it might be useful to sift a coat on after using the
liquid, much like you do with a bead.

If you are going to make your own liquid enamel, which is cheaper and
lasts longer (the already madeup kind dries up moderately quickly),
look at the article on the Glass on Metal web site. It is a pain
getting the enamel to the right consistency. If this is a one time
shot, you might go with the prepared.

Depending on the height of the the kiln and the height of the
cylinder, you can use a bolt threaded throught a mesh to hold the
cylinder. The bolt needs to be at least half the height of the
cylinder to keep the thing upright. The bolt worked well for me, I
got more slumping with a rod.

However, If you can do the bit with turning the cylinder while in
the kiln, it would be great. I still haven’t figured out what a
spider is, or worked up the nerve to punch a glory hole in my kiln.
Maybe a spring like in a wind up toy would work in the kiln?


Putting anything with a spring in the hot kiln will instantly anneal

Poking a hole in the kiln and using the spider - both of which
should probably be made of stainless, will work. An old Russian
enamelist told me they used to do it that - turning the piece by
hand. That’s what apprentices were for.

Nowadays I can’t afford an apprentice, so it would have to be an
electric motor.

Motors are kinda low on conversational abilities, and they don’t get
it when you play a joke on them…:slight_smile:

Brian P. Marshall
Stockton Jewelry Arts School
Stockton, CA USA