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Enamels - old enamels & ceremit

Dear Sally…real jewelers (sorry if that sounds snotty) don’t use
Ceremit. Most enamelists view it on par with gold plate vs. the
real thing. If you want to be a quality jeweler, stick to real
enamels. It would be sad to use ceremit on fine metalwork.

As far as the old enamels you received. The purist will say that
you get the most “true” color if you buy the enamel in lump form,
grind it yourself as needed, sift it out into different mesh sizes,
store it in moisture free environment away from strong light when in
powder form. These are all true but…

I will not grind my own enamels as I am a female of child bearing
age, same reason I won’t use leaded enamels right now. I would
guess most of your enamels are leaded and you should wear a
respirator when using and clean up very well afterwards. By
sifting out the different sizes you have more control over the
opacity/transparency of the enamels. The finer the grind the more
opaque the enamel appears when fired, this goes for the transparent
enamels of course. You end up with more visible air bubbles with
the bigger grains but they are much more transparent. I have
enamels that are probably 10 yrs old and the color is good, they
pretty much flow and adhere fine as long as they were sealed and
kept clean. As far as color change, well the color is probably
different but you won’t know! You never saw the originals and they
probably aren’t even made any more with the same formula. Do a test
on small copper pieces to determine their current colors…if you
check the archives someone described a really good test procedure
not too long ago.

Good luck and let me know if you have any more