wouldn't recommend enameling on sterling as it can cause your
transparent to come out cloudy and dull. Instead I've had a lot of
success with fine silver and the colors just come out so vibrant
and pretty. Good luck and happy enameling!
Bit late commenting, but the Guild of Enamellers Conference was this
weekend in York UK. The workshop leaders were excellent, and very
giving with their skills and knowledge.
Fine silver does give the most brilliant colours with transparents.
However both fine and Britannia silver (95.8% ) are both very soft,
so the design for rings and other hardwearing/ vulnerable pieces has
to take this into account and protection of some sort incorporated -
bezel setting etc.
Sterling gives excellent results IF the enamels are applied before
soldering and other heat processes occur. Jane Moore (one of the
Conference tutors) applies most findings after enamelling is
completed - she uses easy solder with few problems. Jane Short has in
the past advised hard solder as the lower temperatures for easy
solder may cause crazing problems.
It’s also possible to enamel sterling castings but the casting must
be done in a controlled atmosphere which reduces surface cupric oxide
firescale, and also minimises subsurface porosity.
The alternative is to complete soldering first and then strip out the
firescale with chemicals. The standard is nasty concentrated nitric
acid - to be used only with great caution after expert personal
tuition!!! Hence my recent enquiry about alum pickle - belated
thanks to all those who replied.
As Lauren said - happy enamelling