Don has given you some good advice but I suggest that you use a
quality Hard silver solder for attaching your findings to the back of
I was told to use hard solder rather than enamelling IT solder by
one of the UK’s best enamellers and for me it has always worked but
you do need to take care in both the placing of the finding and
susequent firing of the enamel piece. I always work in sterling
silver but I have used copper in the past.
I start by outlining the area on the back of the piece that will be
soldered with a lead pencil or some form of stop-flow to restrict the
flow of the solder within that outline and preventing it flowing all
over the piece.
I then, using flux etc, heat the piece flowing the hard solder on
the back. When the solder has melted I place the finding in position
using a cross lock tweezer. If it does not go on straight continue to
heat the piece, and not the finding, pushing the finding into
position using a solder pick.
You will need to fire your enamels several times in order to build
up the enamel in thin coats and if you do not protect the finding
joint, the hard solder will develop black pits in its surface so a
good coat of Borax or similar high firing flux must be used at all
times to protect the surface and prevent this effect.
Other points to consider: I don’t like my findings being put under
any stress during the enamelling process so I either suspend the
enamel on a “V” shaped stilt or use a ceramic board with a cut out
for the finding allowing the finding to hang free of any pressure.
Making your own, bigger/stronger findings helps too but I know that’s
not always possible.
I would also recommend that you try to have a metal edge to the
enamel design as it helps to protect the edge of the enamel and in
the unlikely event that you do need to replace the finding after
enamelling you can do so by holding the enamel piece upside down by
its metal edge on a “V” shaped stilt and resoldering using easy or
extra easy solder. If your enamelling is good it won’t crack.
For soldering under the enamel design use Eutectic as it contains no