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Screen printing powdered enamels

I read Peter Grigg’s article from the Glass On Metal magazine about using screen printing methods to place powdered enamel more precisely and get some beautiful results. I see artists such as Kathleen Wilcox using this method and would like to explore it myself.
In Peter’s article, he says he found that the 62 threads per inch screen was most useful for distributing the enamel powder through the screen.
Any idea where I can find 62 threads per inch screen? Has anyone tried this method? What sort of results/problems did you run in to?

You probably already found this on google. I don’t know anything about that company.

You can avoid having to make screens and a lot of the work he describes, by using Print Gocco. There may be other systems but I’ve never used them.

Print Gocco uses a somewhat higher mesh. Gocco makes it very easy, the results are perfect and I had no problems with it. You need to use a copy machine that uses toner. And Peter Grigg’s advice about avoiding grey areas also applies with the Gocco system.

There’s much ado about Gocco supplies not being available. I believe they are available, but are much more expensive than they used to be.

Hi Leslie,

Pete is one of our Enamels instructors at Worcester Center for Crafts in MA. His screen work is very impressive. I believe he purchases his screen on Amazon.

We do have a Gocco system, which is quick because there’s pretty much no prep besides creating a high contrast image, but it does limit the size of the final work and can be more expensive.


Hi Lesa,
This is an easy one!.
62 tpi is 62 by 62 in fact, so the mesh is 360 or thereabouts.
to begin with, take the simple way to this, look in your kitchen utensils drawer and pick
out your ordinary tea strainer, usually plastic handled with a plastic woven mesh around!
2in in dia.
Heres a pic of a tea strainer result
and how I have varied the dusting to achieve a colour change.

I use tea strainers these as you can find them in different mesh sizes to suit the enamel mesh size. There also made in s/steel mesh . you may have to hunt these down in your household section of a store. Im in the UK so your take on finding these might just be different.
What I do is

  1. I put clean piece of A4 paper on my table,
    2.then an egg cup onto which I balance my metal to be enameled.
  2. put my tea strainer down on the paper
  3. tip some powder into this.
  4. pick up carefully and tap the side of the TS gently whilst holding it over the metal.
    6.Move the metal to the kiln side.
  5. Remove the egg cup, and fold up the paper to tip back into the enamel jar whats fallen over the metal edges, likewise put the rest of the enamel in the TS onto the paper and likewise return to the E jar. Put on the screw top lid to keep out the air.
  6. continue with your enameling in the usual way.
    Using a mask ,say with a flower motive cut out from paper for a repeat application of a different colour onto the fired enamel ground coat. I find if the piece is flat you may not need a fixative ,traditionally gum tragacanth. .
    You wont get the sharp outlines you get from using cloisonne wire and wet inlay into the cells.
    each to his own.
    what you can get, is some lovely variations of colour shading from one to another by varying the amount of enamel you dust on. See pic above.
    This works best with transparent enamels on copper and fine silver. Still have some samples of my work from 50 yrs ago.

Dear Edward,

Which did you find was a better binder, gum tragacanth or gum arabic ?? I
have used gum arabic
but not gum tragacanth.
Both are available from Amazon but I am trying to decide if one is better
then the other for enameling.


Thank you for your help.

Actually, it would be closer to 3600 which is a bit small for a mesh. Not that it matters, I can’t find anything as large as 62 either. I do wonder if the 62 is along the lines of the strainers used for separating out the sizes of the enamel particles.
Thank you for the suggestions of the strainers.

Ive looked again at my math, were both right, in that a 64 mesh is 64 wires along the bottom of an inch and 64 wires up the side. However! that is then 3600,(your math! your right!) all told holes between the wires in one sq in, assuming their thickness is at least half the 1/64th graduation.
Then the enamel powder has to be fine enough to sieve through this size holes.
what mesh are your enamels specified at?
Ive pottery slip sieves in bronze and there down to 220 mesh.
Flour sieves are about the same as tea strainers.
I assumed that your not going in the direction of industrial screen printing of wet enamels. Something ive not needed to research.
Any pics of what your doing?

Hi Sharron,
I didnt find any difference.
Finished up using very watered down wall paper paste.

Why not use something you might already have:

I forgot to mention the Gocco screen is 70 mesh.