A question was asked on enamelforum @ Yahoo about enameling flaking
on forged copper. My response to the question, “Is it possible,
because the copper has been forged to different thickness, that the
metal is work hardened unevenly and therefore when it’s heated during
the enameling process, it ‘torques’, i. e. expands and contracts at
different rates and directions?”. Is it likely that annealing the
copper would make the process possible?
Here’s the original post from [name masked]: "Hello again enamellers
- I have another challenge for you (brought to me courtesy of a Metal
Arts Guild colleague). Enamelling on forged copper. Can it be done?
and if so, what are the things you need to think about?
I have uploaded some pictures of the project [password protected URL
The close-ups show where the enamel is flaking off (showing very
porous enamel underneath) These are the samples we made with liquid
enamel 1070 white. The larger pictures show the challenging shapes
he is working with.
The copper is forged thick in some places and thinner in others in a
long sinuous curve. We have tried a couple of options (he wants them
to be yellow)
He tried yellow (1235 Ivory I think) and also 1010 white for a base,
but he had quite a bit of chipping. He tried allowing it to cool
down in the kiln, but it didn’t help. I tried using a liquid
brush-able enamel and it chipped less - but it still chipped. It is
not chipping off completely but flaking. I am actually assuming that
this is because of the different thicknesses which are expanding and
contracting at different rates - in which case it will be virtually
impossible to do - but I thought I would just run it by the experts
here before giving up …"
Hope that someone out there in Orchid village has a solution.