Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Glass enamels on silver and gold

I have been sent a sample set of glass enamels (Enamel for Effetre) I
wanted enamel for gold and silver. I have tried them on metal and
they seem ok, but I was wondering if they all right for silver and
gold in the long run. Or must I get the proper ones? Any advice
greatly appreciated,

Hans Meevis

I would suggest that you get enamels made for silver and gold. I was
given some enamels made for glass, and tried them on fine silver.
They were great until about 2 days after firing, then they began to
flake off the metal.

Alma Rands

Dear Hans,

Funny you should ask! The issue “what IS enamel?” came up at our
board meeting for the national Enamelists Society last weekend, in
response to the proliferation of non-vitreous “enamel” fakes. Real
Enamels are vitreous (glass). Enamel must be fired in a kiln or
melted with a torch in order to form a sheet of glass and adhere to
metal or other glass. I believe that most vitreous enamels will work
well on either gold or silver (however, I primarily fire onto copper
and then set in precious metals so take my advice with a grain of

The Enamelists Society is a national organization for and about
enamel and enamelists. The website provides a lot of information
including resource lists, classes and workshops, local guilds, links
to artists and more. Check it out!

Marianne Hunter

Those enamels are chosen because of their close compatibility(COE
coefficient of expansion) with effetre or soft italian glass used in
lampworking. The enamels are the same used for metals. The set has
numbers that do not correspond to the ones normally used in
enameling so it is difficult to know what you have. I have a set of
those too from Thompson and they begin with 9. I don’t know what the
regular enamel numbers are either and I have used them for metals,
but I don’t do anything but one color with them because I don’t know
the ‘real’ numbers on them.

You should let them know they sent you the incorrect pack so you can
get some accurate results.