Saturday, July 12, 2014

Painting in Vitreous Enamels.


There’s a website called Grains of Glass that I joined.

Lots of very good enamel artists there but not so many enamel painters.

Carmen Lombardi

and Susan Davies

were my favorites.

Susan Davies mentioned that she bought her enamels from WG Ball, in the UK.

Right next door, so I ordered it from them.


This is the kit for about thirty pounds.

It’s  a bit limited in the colours but  there are enough to make a pretty picture, for sure.


This is my painting kit.

No.1 are two spatulas.

No. 2 is a milk top that is filled with clean turpentine.

No 3 are the paint medium and thinners bottles.

No 4  are the syringes with needles.

I have three, one with paint medium, one with paint thinner and one with pine oil.

No 5 are the colours.

I also have the same type of box for my Thompson enamels.

No 6 is my Hofner cigar box pallet mixing surface.

I made a glass plate on where I mix the paints on that is removable from the box.



So then it’s easier to mix and stuff.



So the first one I decided to try out the paints with was a Baobab.

I’m familiar with the subject because I used to make them out of gold in Botswana.


It eventually ended up like this.

I used a background of Thompson 1060 white  and Isle blue 1605

Learning curve.

There was quite a bit of colour fade after repeated firings, especially at five ‘o clock.

The brown colour sucks.

Also the top most branches suffered from a spread with repeated firings.

Ergo, put your finest detail last.

This one was made on a 1mm copper disk that was domed and counter enameled .

I decided that was as far as I was going to go with this one.

Diminishing returns and all that.


The thing is I want to do is eventually be able to paint (and make) watch dials.

Watch dials are flat, mostly.



A couple of posts back I showed how I made these copper faces.

The one on the right I test enameled with titanium white which is a high temperature colour, just to see what would happen if it was not countered enameled. ( It still went convex)

I drilled a hole also to see if enamel would run out. ( it doesn’t).


Anyway, this one was my second attempt with the new paints'.

I used Thompson 1060 white as a first two coats, then a

mix of Isle Blue 1605 and Sky Blue 1610 as the background.


I have a old dental vacuum oven which really works well for this kind of work.

It heats up from 0 to 850C in four minutes.

Heat on tap.


This is what it looks out when it comes out the oven.



And this is the finished piece.



I made this Azure tool a while ago and it works a treat holding a dial in place when both sides are enameled simultaneously.

You never know when you need an azure tool.

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