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Using 9K wire for cloisonne work


I’ve been using 9K wire for cloisonne work and it keeps leaping off,
even when apparently well-secured in fired enamel. Does anyone know
of any other disadvantages to using 9K wire that havent yet
manifested themselves in my experiments. Real gold is so expensive
I’d like to persevere with 9K unless there are other hidden
problems, I find enamelling tricky enough without additional

Sarah Hemmings-Vourda


i stick with fine silver cloisonne wire, you may try and contact
Patsy Croft at Aloha Lani Studios, she is the most expert enamellist
I can recommend…


Hello again Sarah

most 9 carat gold contains a proportion of zinc (I was told up to 9%)
which apparently vapourises in the kiln, thereby pinging off the
enamel or at least causing pits in the surface which trap air and
ping off. This would make the fine wires jump out. Use as high carat
gold cloisonne wire as you can get hold of (23 /24) or use fine

18 carat though has worked for me as castings (Niagara Falls
Castings UK are FABULOUS - no connection, just very satisfied
customer) as long as the castings are under inert gas which avoids
porosity. Sand castings and those done in air don’t take enamel well
as tiny air bubbles occur.

In the UK the Guild of Enamellers is a very friendly organisation
for enamellers of all levels, and is only 20 a year membership.

best wishes


Order up zincless gold in the lower karat if you can get it.

Russ Hyder


Thank you so much for your help and expertise,

I should have guessed there were no cheap shortcuts,

I am a member of the guild of enamellers but haven’t really used it
as a resource yet.



I am now using the fine silver wire and patinating it warm
reds/golds - a happy accident involving a sulphurous ayr stone.

thanks again for your help.