Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Enamelling in odd directions

         I have a cast ring with small scale-shaped
      depressions I made specifically to fill with enamel. The
      depressions go all the way around the piece.  1. Can I
      fill the depressions with gummed enamel and place the
      ring on its side in the kiln, or will the enamel run
      out/squish to the side? 

A small amount of diluted klyrfire is necessary to hold
the enamel in place so it won’t fall out when dry. Fire
till fused. I have done some gold rings (several with
diamonds in them) for jewelers here in SD. If the enamel
surface is flat, there’s no trouble, but enameled rings in
the round are more difficult. One ring that had enamel all
the way around kept pinging off as it cooled. I surmised
that it was because the metal cools at a slower rate than
the enamel. I kept refilling and refiring, turning the kiln
off when the enamel melted, and leaving it in the kiln to
cool down slowly overnite. It was a lot of work and most of
the enamel finally stayed in. The ring was very thick and
that might have been one of the problems- thick metal
cools more slowly. Without counter enamel there is
nothing to keep the metal from moving while cooling.
Depending on the type of metal, you will also have to deal
with the metal oxidizing. If you use leaded enamel, be
careful putting it in pickle; it will dull the enamel. I
don’t usually have to deal with the polishing, but a glass
brush will take oxidation off (use detergent and water)
and then you can polish it.

I have a ring stand that was made from a strip of
stainless steel. The bottom bent into triangular form and
then goes up and into a hook shape where the ring can hang.
Anyone can make one by cutting a strip about 12" long by
1/4" wide. I’ve had mine for 20+ years. I have not studied
this kind of work, it has been experimental for me. I have
never found this kind of info in a book. Louise