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Enameling books

Hi everyone, I really love this group it’s been so interesting. My
question is this: Someone said they were looking for a book by Fred
Ball on Enameling. Someone else wrote and said they saw it on Ebay.
I was amazed that it went for $67! (I did not see the person asking
about the book bid, did you find a copy elsewhere?) Currently there
are other enameling books for sale which I may be interested in. One
is The Enameling book by Oppi Untracht. Now I would think this could
be worth something because of Oppi and the fact it’s out of print.
What is the book worth paying for? I talked to an enameling teacher
and she said that the person that bought the other book probably
wasn’t even interested in enameling and just bought it because it was
out of print! Any comments? Thanks ~Poppy~

For lots of out of print books I recommend a search first on : The Fred Ball book wasn’t listed the other
day . I saw it listed here a while back at about the price it went
for ($67 ) Just search “enameling” by subject. I am sure the person
who paid the price wanted that book for use –


Hello Poppy The Fred Ball enameling book went for $67. because someone
wanted it bad enough to pay that much. I doubt it was bought because
of being out of print. I even bid it up to 28.00. We are in the
jewelry business and rare and out of print book business as well
( ) We do enameling and from what I know of Ball’s
book it is well worth buying even for $67.00 as was the case here.
Knowing the ropes of locating OP books, I figured I’d wait until it
shows up on one of our book searches. The Enameling book by Oppi
Untracht is available from many dealers at around $20.00.

Jim Mannella
Lake Worth Fla.

 I talked to an enameling teacher and she said that the person that
bought the other book probably wasn't even interested in enameling
and just bought it because it was out of print! Any comments?  

Sure I have a comment. I bought the book on E-bay, and I am an
enamelist. I have been scanning E-bay, Amazon book sales and a couple
of other sites for years looking for that book. I had already seen it
on E-bay before somebody announced on Orchid that it was on there. I
am sure that announcement helped drive up the price. I couldn’t believe
after all this looking someone on Orchid saw it too and made it so
popular! I do consider it worth the price however, as my other
alternatives seemed to include theft from a public instituation.

On another book note, the Oppi Untracht book going for alot of money
on E-bay right now is also available for $16 plus shipping on Amazon
right now. That is where I got my copy. Quite a bargain compared to
the last E-bay bidding.


Hello everybody, I noticed the Fred Ball book went for alot of $.
What techniques did Fred use that are so different? I get to enjoy the
beautiful mural he did on highway 5 in Sacramento.I don’t think he did
any cloisonne- mostly sifting?. Does anyone know what is in the book
that is so different? I have never seen it.thanks sue in shingle springs

Poppy I think the real issue is how quickly do you want the book. I
looked for a copy of the Fred Ball book for about 7-8 years in old book
stores and such - found a year or two ago for $9. Found the Untracht
book for about the same price. Yes, they are out of print but can be
found from time to time in used book stores. If you are patient you
needn’t pay alot of money.

Sherry Reed

I just got into this thread and would like to know what the Fred
Ball- “Experimental Techniques in Enameling” book is going for?.


Sue, Fred Ball advocated the use of “contemporary” materials such as
liquid enamels to further enable a freer method of rendering with
enamel and to explore the interaction of copper and enamel . He used
liquid enamels (formerly known as crackle enamels) as initial coats on
copper with sifted enamel over. The liquid could be spattered,
brushed, sprayed, slip- trailed, etc. on to the metal. The enamel
could be sgrafittoed and fired or fired as without “working” it. He
liked to encourage the incorporation of fire scale into the work.
Other things which he did with liquid enamels was to dip wire mesh
into it and then fire the mesh to larger pieces of copper, dip string
into the liquid and use the coated string to form a stencil. The look
he was going for was definitely not precious (some have gone so far
as to call his work “funky”) and it was very different from other
tightly controlled techniques. Fred Ball taught at Sacramento State
University and influenced a fair number of his students. He died in a
very mysterious manner in 1976, I believe, from complications of a
late night attack outside his studio. His book went out of print
fairly quickly but it is definitely worth owning.


Ouch, I am beginning to be sorry I mentioned Amazon as a place to
possibly buy the out of print Oppi Untracht book. In all fairness I
thought I should tell you about my experience.

3 sellers listed it last week. I put a bid in with one, they charged
me and I requested shipping info. Two days later they informed me they
couldn’t find the book. 2nd dealer went pretty much the same way
except I still don’t have my refund through Amazon and they claim the
book sold too. I am now threatening them with trying to get Amazon to
boot them off the service, funny, they had a great rating. 3rd dealer
refunded me within 24 hours, never told me why I wasn’t getting the

I can’t help buy wondering if they tend to watch E-bay and since the
book was going for a crazy price there decided to yank them. The other
option is that the same people that lost on E-bay all raced to Amazon
and beat me! Sigh, I’ll get it somewhere else I suppose.

I do wish E-bay had the easy payment option that Amazon has, I find
Pay-pal tedious.


Here are two book dealers that show having Oppi Untracht book in
stock at this time. Jim Mannella (bookfinder) Once
Upon a Time Books and Collectibles 877-798-9856 Arizona $20.00

Xochi’s Bookstore 505-894-7685 New Mexico $32.50