Enameling Rings

Hello out there in Orchid Land. I have a problem. I enameled a ring
for a girl last year. Why, I don’t know I must have been out of my
mind. If I wasn’t then I am now! I cast an 18kt ring that basically
has a channel down the center. The edges are about 2mm wide. (I knew
I should have measured everything before I started this) They are
also about 2mm deep. I’ve done cloisonne in the ring. Anyway, it
came back with a big chunk out of it. The problem is it keeps
cracking parallel to the edges. Is is because it isn’t counter
enameled? I thought the band was thick enough that I wouldn’t need
to. You know I have almost every enameling book known to man and not
one addresses enameling on bands. I’m thinking that the channel is
just too deep and I’m trying to have it too thick. Anybody out there
got any bright ideas? I really need to get on with my life. Thanks so
much for any help.

God Bless You


You’re channel is too deep. 0.5mm is more then adequate. Good luck.


Hi Poppy, I don’t have a solution, but I do suggest that you contact
Thompson enamel and speak to either Tom Ellis, or Bill Helwig. They
are both experts and hopefully they can help you.

Glass on Metal website (sponsored by Thompson Enamel), is also an
excellent source of and I believe you can submit your
question to them for help. I had a question some time ago and they
were very helpful. This is assuming you are working with Thompson

If you are working with the Japanese enamels, contact Coral Shaffer
(sp?), at Enamel Works in Seattle. Coral is an expert, and very very

Hope you find the answer to your problem.



You might try having a slight under cut on each side of the channel,
that way you will have both a physical attachment and a glass to gold


Hi Poppy,

If I read right you say that you have 2mm. depth of enamel, this is
far too much you should try to keep the enamel depth thinner than
the metal behind it on the ring. 0.5mm is more than enough. To
explain further if the enamel is thicker than the channel base floor
the enamel will be taking the strain when the finger is flexed and as
when the enamel is thick it will not flex easily. If I was making an
enamel band I would not use a casting, I have made enamel bands in
the past and the easiest way I found to make them was by using a
wedding ring blank of the correct size, sticking it to a wooden
dowel and turning a channel in the band on my lathe. Easy if you
have a lathe! So Poppy a 2mm thick ring should have 1.5mm of gold
under the enamel, then I am sure the ring won’t crack. My wife has a
band ring that I made 30 years ago with pale green transparent enamel
and it is as good as new today. I will send you a photo of it if you

Good luck and bless you,

James Miller
in England

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