I've only taken one class in torch fired enameling and it was nothing short of a disaster.  A sub-set of students were some of the most misbehaved group of adults (and I use that term loosely) that I have ever experienced.  They hogged the materials, the torches, and the teachers time.  By the end of the class the table with the enamels looked like a bomb went off.  The powder was everywhere and the colors were all contaminated. 

I enjoyed what little I did manage to do in class.  I liked the technique.  I loved the colors and it's something I've always wanted to get back to.  So I picked up this book by Barbara Lewis.  She teaches you to enameling in a different way.  You place your bead or piece on a stainless steel mandrel, heat it until it glows, and then dip the piece into the enamel.  You repeat this process a couple times until you get the effect that you want. 

Barbara shows you how to set up a workstation and goes over basic tools and then jumps right into projects. The projects include necklaces, earrings, bracelets and rings and they all have that very funky, layered, organic look that I like. A number of them include ribbon, fiber, and wire wrapping.  One project I found particularly interesting involves copper pipe...both etching and enameling it. 

Amazon lets you take a peek inside the book if you are curious.


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Comment by Gail Lannum on April 3, 2012 at 2:55pm

Thanks for the tips on the other teachers.  I know that Barbara is teaching at Bead and Button this year... and so am I.... so I don't have a lot of time to take classes. 

Comment by Brigitte Martin on April 3, 2012 at 12:52pm

Deborah Lozier is great, patience personified. She's located on the West Coast.

Another good person to talk to about teaching this subject is Anne Havel. She's on the East Coast. Both travel and both are on crafthaus, easy for you to get in touch with.

Comment by Alison B. Antelman on April 3, 2012 at 12:08pm

If you ever decide to take a torch fired enamel class again I highly recommend Deb Lozier. She's teaching soon at the Mendocino Art Center but gets to many other places...she is an excellent teacher and sets a good tone for the class. thanks for the book reco...

Comment by Ann Davis on April 3, 2012 at 11:02am

Hey Gail! I got that book too, tried it:)) it worked, lots of fun, good for charms, front and back in one shot:)) much faster when you get the hang of it and don't get too much enamel on:)) I'm going to her demo this weekend at the Mid Atlantic ISGB meeting. I'll let you know if enamel goes everywhere!! hahaha Sounds like the class you took either had too many students or a teacher that didn't know how to control her group.

Comment by Gail Lannum on April 2, 2012 at 6:41pm

Thanks Brigitte!!

Comment by Brigitte Martin on April 2, 2012 at 12:54pm

Thank you for this tip, Gail. Sorry to hear about how that class went, I am glad you found useful instructions in this book here.

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