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Pearly Karpel brand Enamel from Israel

I’m teaching myself enameling (I’m a beginner) and bought, through Etsy, a sample set of enamels from “Pearly Karpel “. I’m having a terrible time with them as they won’t wet. It’s like they are coated with wax or oil. I can’t find any information about them online so I wondered if perhaps any of you might know anything about them- good, bad or informative.

They melt as expected in the kiln- turning to smooth glass in bright colors when cool, but they won’t wet- water droplets just bounce around the powder. I also have realized that most of the samples (200 or so) are leaded, but do not say so. Nor is there any mention of lead anywhere I can see. But I know that the majority have lead because of the few that state “lead free” on the lid. I hope someone out there has worked with this company or at least knows something about them.

The failure of water to wet your enamels reminds me of a science experiment I saw on TV a long time ago. The guy sprinkled lycopodium powder (tiny plant spores) over a beaker of water and poked his finger deep into the beaker, which came out dry. The fine powder prevented the surface tension of the water from being broken. I got some from a pharmacy and tried it, and it worked.

So how fine are the enamels ground?

Even assuming this isn’t the case with your enamels, perhaps you could try adding a tiny amount of dish washing liquid to your water, as in a drop in a liter of water, and just some of that water into your distilled. You don’t have to fire the enamel, you just want to see if it will wet.

Or you might try Pam East’s ClearNamel wetting agent:

Hope this helps.

Neil A

There are a few videos on YouTube that show the powders being used as a paint and their Etsy shop describe that they can be wet packed using distilled water. But, all in all, not a lot of useful information. Have you contacted the distributor? One would hope they could offer guidance.

I’ve never heard of this brand, but they claim to be compatible with Thompson. Very interesting!

Best of luck.

I will try both, thanks. My “poking” tool was also unable to get wet as I tried stabbing the water droplets- instead just getting covered with powder. The samples are very small (5 grams maybe?), so I haven’t sifted- I’ve just been making test samples (just a small blop of dry powder over a fired Thompson white) and some of the colors leave only a peripheral ring of color- with the center of the powdered area showing only the Thompson white. In any case- the powder is not significantly different in appearance or “feel” than unsifted 80 mesh.

Yes, I’ve watched those too . I’ve had email communication with someone who signs their name as “Pearly” (extremely delayed shipping) but for some reason I don’t want to ask them- I’m hoping someone out there can give me some tips, without trying to sell me on the product. While there are probably 225+ colors, many many of them could be mixed together with no discernible difference. So I guess I am a little suspicious but again- am hoping for illuminating information from out there in the enameling world

Contact Pearly. She’s been helpful to me with other questions. Haven’t tried enamels yet.

I lived in Israel 30 years ago. Imports were from Europe, not local. Degussa was a big provider. Not much Ferro then. I doubt if the enamel is locally made, just repackaged.