Was wondering if anyone has advice on enamel on copper. Annealing
temp for copper and firing temp for enamel are similar, so if I need
to tumble the piece after enamelling to work harden the copper
(enamel is an accent, n ot covering the surface), is there any
danger to the enamel? And if so, is there a way to protect it, and/or
any other way I'm not familiar with ? Any help much appreciated!
The enamel might be broken and damaged. Unless you are working with
very thin copper, you shouldn't have to worry about work hardening
I regularly tumble my enameled pieces. If there is bare metal in
them- as in plique-a-jour- it gives it a nice finish without
affecting the enamel.
But- I am generally not using enamel just in accents. I'd happen
after it's been purchased!
I'm not really convinced the tumbler does much to work-harden the
bulk of the metal anyway- it's a pretty gentle process. It does
work-harden the immediate surfaces, though, as well as giving them a
Since enamel is glass, tumbling would damage it. The enamel itself is
rigid & strong, so I wouldn't worry about the metal not
beingannealed. Enameling should be done on a piece that is designed
not to flex.
Hi Linda Ricci,
I have tumbled copper champleve enamel on very thick pieces of about
12 g, about 3/4" x 1" long and the opaque enamels did not show any
damage. This will burnish the metal, but I have heard that the
hardening effects are minimal. Test your results may vary. Several
items worked, no failures due to tumbling.