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Enamelling & Gum Tragacanth

Hi All Can anyone help? I have been experimenting with enamelling
and seem to be struggling with the correct gum tragacanth solution.
Does anyone have any recommendations as to the mix? And also the
amount of gum to mix with enamel powder? Thanks Mark Vardy

hi Mark you need arabic gum mixed with water
good luck raffi

Why have you chosen to use gum tragacanth? There are other premixed
solutions available such as Klyr-Fire (a vegetable gum solution) and
the only reason I use gum tragacanth is if I’m adhereing cloisonne
wires to vertical surfaces. When I do use it I mix about 1 part gum
to 3 parts water, let it sit in a closed container for several hours
then dilute further as necessary. I use as little binder as necessary
and usually mix the enamel with plain water to do wet pack enamels on
a flat surface, so my advice on this may not be as good as the the
next enamelist who uses gum Tragacanth more often. I even dilute
Klyr-Fire by 50% when I use that product. The theory is that binders
trap air bubbles in the enamel that may remain during firing and thus
cause pits or a lack of clarity in transparent enamels. Experiment
and make up your own mind as to that theory. Good Luck.


I came across this Tragacanth Gum recipe in an old notebook. I can’t
remember which enameling book I found it in, but hopefully it will

In a 1 qt. jar add 1 ts. tragacanth. Add enough pure wood alcohol to
form a paste (not isopropyl or denatured). To this paste, add 1 qt.
water. Cover and shake vigorously. Allow to stand overnight.

The thin solution that rises to the top is used as a spray in an
atomizer. The thicker solution at the bottom is kept for more
detailed work.

best of luck,
Pam in cool and sunny Newburyport, MA