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Enamelling both sides of the metal?


I am in the need for some enameling tips. How to fire both sides of
metal in the kiln? Pretty easy -yes? thanks barb


Not just easy, but important. Pieces need to be enameled on both
sides to be stable.

Have fun and make lots of jewelry.
Jo Haemer



it is normal to counter-enamel large pieces to prevent warping of
the metal and spalling of the enamel. You can buy counterenamel for
this purpose, commonly black or clear. It has a slightly different
composition from most coloured enamels inasmuch as having a slightly
higher borax content which give a slightly lower liquidus point and
better coverage of the metal. generally you should try and avoid
this coming into contact with your proper surface- ie: leave a small
uncoated area around the rim of the back of the piece otherwise this
enamel can flow into and contaminate your work and change the
colours. Probably best to do the counterenamelling first as you can
then clean up your piece before setting about the enamelling proper
but in the long run it shouldnt make a difference to the end result
which way round to do it.

Nick Royall


What are you trying to enamel both sides of? How big? what material?


Hi, Niick - Just a suggestion --, if you do your counter enamelling
first, then you don’t need to worry about contaminating the front
surface —.



To enamel both sides, you’ll need some sort of holding jig that
touches (ideally) only the (metal) edges of the piece. 3-prong
trivets are commonly used, but some shapes require more clever

You do want to enamel both sides of the metal, ideally with a
roughly similar thickness of glass; this balances the stresses that
could otherwise make the enamel crack and flake off.

For counter-enamel- I’m personally partial to cobalt blue, black, or
a dark gray IF the backside is going to be seen by anyone. If not, I
tend to use the leftover enamels that I get from washing or sifting
(if they get contaminated) etc., or odd lots of enamels that i don’t
have another use for, or similar. When I’ve purchased “counter
enamel”, it’s looked to me like a mix of the stuff that for one
reason or another didn’t sell well. :slight_smile: So- in my experience, counter-
enamel has no especial properties of its own, but it’s a good way to
use waste rather than discarding it.

I hope this helps!


Amanda Fisher