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Flux for enamel


#1

Hi All- IS Flux used for Enameling different from Flux used for
soldering? I am just starting out in enamels and getting my supplies
together. I do not see “Flux” for sale in my catalog. Does it go
under another name? Also, I have been reading a few books on
enameling, but none of mine mention combining solder work and
enameling. Do I Complete the pin back before I do my enameling work?
Can I solder onto an already enameled piece? I would
appreciate any feedback! Peace to all- Cherie


#2
  1. Yes, Cherie, it is definitely quite different!

  2. I’ve never heard it called other than flux – soft, medium, or
    hard. This was for working on copper, and was used only with
    transparent of (sometimes) translucent enamels, not opaque ones…
    3)You need to do all your soldering before you enamel.

HTH,
Margaret


#3

“Enameling Flux” is a clear enamel that colors are placed over -
especially when using low carat gold and silver. It prevents the
colors being affected by absorbing copper and silver and produces
brighter hues. Different types of enamel flux suit different colors
best and they will fuse at different temperatures.

Soldering flux is very different stuff used to help the flow of
solder.

Finish the broach but stop short of attaching the pin itself. I
usually cover the back findings with yellow ochre and investment
plaster during the enameling process but if you use extra hard solder
there is no need. I still do it though - I’m a coward! Rivet the pin
in place as the last step of all.

Soldering AFTER enameling usually results in a spoiled surface to
the enamel - also many enamels don’t stand up well to pickle.

Soldering OVER enamel is usually a no-no as the joint shows through
very clearly .

Tony Konrath
Key West Florida 33040


#4

Cherie

Hi All- IS Flux used for Enameling different from Flux used for
soldering? 

YES!

 I am just starting out in enamels and getting my supplies
together. I do not see "Flux" for sale in my catalog. Does it go
under another name? 

What catalog are you using? What is the name of the company? Flux is
clear enamel… no color. Most companies go by numbers. I am
surprised flux not listed. We have no way of knowing what company’s
catalog you are using so you need to give that info.

Also, I have been reading a few books on enameling, but none of
mine mention combining solder work and enameling. 

That is because enameling and soldering are entirely separate
operations.

Do I Complete the pin back before I do my enameling work? 

Not usually. You CAN make a setting first and then make the enamel
to fit, but I think most people make the enamel first then make the
setting. (I presume you are thinking about making small jewelry)

Can  I solder onto an already enameled piece? 

No— if you get it hot enough to solder you will melt the enamel–
plus you should have counter enamel on the back.

Louise @lgillin1


#5

Hi Cheryl – Completely different!! Flux in enameling is a sort-of
colorless enamel that has many many uses – such as being a base
layer for placing cloisons in cloisonne enameling; being a base layer
for silver or gold foils in an enamel; to fill space in an enamel
where you need one more layer somewhere else and you have reached the
color that you want over here, etc., etc. And I say sort of, because
even though they are supposed to be colorless, they all have a cast
to them and you pick the one that goes the best with the metal and
colors you are using. Flux for soldering metal is used to stave off
the oxidation process as long as possible, keeping the area to be
soldered as clean as possible so that you can get the solder to flow
the way you want to.

Laura.
StoneHouse Studio


#6

Hi Cherie,

When first trying to teach myself enameling I was confounded by the
term flux as well. Finally the guy who was “teaching” the class
showed up to see how well we were following his written directions
and saw the problem. The whole class was using soldering flux instead
of what we were meant to be using…clear enamel, which is also
called flux, what a disaster. Flux comes in different hardnesses to
be used under, over or with other enamels. Depending on what metal
you are using and if you are using it as a base or top coat you will
want different types of flux.

If you are going the lead-free route you will find flux listed as a
transparent enamel on page 4 of the Thompsons catalog. Look under
the “clear” section # 2007 through #2040.

Hope that helps,
Karen


#7

Hi All- IS Flux used for Enameling different from Flux used for
soldering? Yes, different. It will be with the Transparent Enamels
(which are vitreous glass-ground glass colored by oxides for
definition). Usually called “Clear” it should have no hint of color,
although some clears will fire a bit yellow over silver. It is
useful stuff, you can use it to put a base coat of enamel down over
your metal. Fire it on and then you can add colors, foils, wires,
etc. It is also sometimes used to add a leveling effect to cloisonne
technique pieces because it does not add color. It is also used to
protect the surface of Limoge pieces. But that is all far down the
road in techniques!

I am just starting out in enamels and getting my supplies together.
Also, I have been reading a few books on enameling, but none of mine
mention combining solder work and enameling. Do I Complete the pin
back before I do my enameling work? Can I solder onto an already
enameled piece? What books have you been reading? Anyway, the answer
is: Yes And No. Most will solder on the findings (pin backs, etc.)
over bare metal if you are adding the finding to the actual enameled
piece. You use very hard solder or enameling solder (but I have no
luck with enameling solder, aka IT solder). If you then subject the
solder joins to repeated heating in the kiln, it can break down.
Then, yes, you can sometimes solder after enameling to repair that
problem. Use easy solder, so you don’t have to heat your enamel to
the point of remelting the glass portion. Sometimes you will have to
repair the enamel side of the piece after doing this. Sometimes
things work out. Enamel doesn’t like to cover (flow) over solder, so
you must use care if you add enamel to the back of the piece. When
using Sterling Silver as your base metal, you don’t have to add
enamel to the reverse side of the piece. Often, enamelists try to
come up with a way to fix the finished piece within the design. As
with a pendent, you cut out the shape and keep a long tongue of metal
at the top. You will then anneal the metal and roll the tongue up to
serve as the neck chain guide. When using Fine Silver, which is a
very soft metal, most enamelists create a metal setting for the
finished enamel, called a bezel by stone setters. The bezel is
created seperately and pin findings or what have you are added to
that. Then the enamel is set like a gem in the resulting bezel.

Felicia Liban & Louise Mitchell penned “Cloisonne Enameling and
Jewelry Making”. It has a section on settings for enamels and metal
boxes. Useful even if you do not want to start out doing
the Cloisonne technique. Enamel On!

Eileen Schneegas
Washington state
Snow Goose Designs (enamel)


#8

I don’t do much enameling but I think that it is a clear enamel that
will be enameled over with colored enamels. It has nothing at all to
do with soldering.

Marilyn Smith


#9

Cherie, flux for enameling is not the same as flux for soldering.
Enameling flux is a clear glass you fire on to your metal as a first
step when adding cloisonnes or if your not doing cloisonne you would
still add flux when using colors that aren’t compatable with you
metal (for instance, many reds particularily opaques don’t do well up
against silver). I recommend you see if you can find an enameling
book at your library, that’s how I learned. :slight_smile: As far as pin backs
being attached before or after enameling, I think you get a much more
professional look making your enamel, and then setting it in a bezel,
solder to your sheet (metal of your choice) and attaching the pin
back to your finished bezel backing. Hope this helps, good luck.

Lisa Hawthorne
@Lisa_Hawthorne