Today I would like to tell you about some experiments with rather a new material — low-temperature enamel. I’ve been looking at it for some time in shops and unexpectedly became an owner of several phialas at a suitable price :) But before I ventured a thing, I decided to find out “What would be if…?” Here are the results of these experiments I’d like to introduce you to. Hope, this may be helpful for someone)
Test 1. Fill in a baked stamped piece of polymer clay with enamel.
Enamel is a very dusty and fine-dispersed material. No matter how carefully you pour it in deepenings, it would be poured everywhere. At first I tried to clean everything around with wipes. But a little dust still remains. I may as well come to the point and say that these hardly visible specks of dust get remarkable as just they’re baked.
For the first time, I poured little enamel, and the result didn’t impress me. So I poured more enamel on the same blank. And here I found that I should work with baked beads. That is much practical: no fear of crumpling a clay blank and all extra enamel is removed easily.
I put enamel with a metal scalpel; but what to smooth it with? What to fill in the deepenings with? I tried out a brush — it was like a scalpel. But my finger was the perfect thing! It won’t do on damp clay, but is good for baked blanks.
The result of the second baking surprised me. Enamel has spread evenly and provided nice glance surface.
Then I took a piece of sandpaper and tried to scrap prominent parts. That was easy. I needn’t have worried trying to remove enamel before baking.
I cut up the sample. Enamel was cut easily, just like clay. The cut was smooth and unbreakable. Enamel gets cracks when being badly deformed, though. Having been recovered, the cracks are very obscure, but perhaps, the enamel may crumble out over time.
Test 2. Mixing colours
I’ve read that enamel colours can’t be mixed like paints. I wonder, how does it yet happen?
As a result of mixing red and blue colours, I got a dirty pinkish colour with many tiny red dots in it. Perhaps, the effect may be helpful some time.
Then I decided to see what may be if one colour is covered with another? Actually, the result was obvious.
Test 3. Enamel on an inclined surface
The question is, how does enamel work when being baked? Does it become liquid? Does it leak like a liquid gel?
I made a bead, stamped it from both sides, put it on a toothpick and filled its both sides with enamel. If one does it carefully and pours few enamel, it won’t escape from another side. Perhaps, wet clay holds it. Baked beads should be twice baked with enamel — one per side. I stuck the bead in a hole in foil made beforehаnd, reached my arm towards the oven and… The bead slightly hooked an oven edge — and all enamel had poured! I did all again. As a result, I found out that enamel doesn’t leak but hardens on vertical surfaces like on horizontal ones.
Test 4. Enamel and lacquer
I scrapped the baked bead and covered its both sides with two lacquers, matte and glance. The result was the loss of attractive enamel qualities, the bead looked like if it had been covered with acrylic paint and lacquered.
Test 5. Transparent enamel
Enamel #000 turned to be absolutely transparent. I decided to see how to use it and baked three beads:
filled in their surface with this enamel;
made drawings on the surface with white acrylic paint;
- covered them with enamel above Perl Ex pigments.
Transparent enamel gives an effect of glass surface after baking. This is especially noticeable on the first sample. Unfortunately, the surface wasn’t perfectly smooth.
Acrylic paint leaked a little bit, and the edges of the drawing became unclear. As the enamel layer was thicker there, I got a very transparent lacquer effect instead of a transparent glass effect.
The same happened with the sample covered with Pearl Ex. Here I’d have liked to know if the enamel had stuck to such surface. Yes, it had hardened well.
All in all, I haven’t clearly understood how to use transparent enamel. If you have any ideas, share them in comments, please.
Test 6. I’m ready to create!
Well, let’s try to make something, a bright pendant, for example. I’ll just share several steps with comments.
I uplifted the pendant borders to carefully fill the surface with enamel and leave the borders clean. I used a piece of paper for that and got tired), but enamel still poured on the borders and the very edge lacked it.
You needn’t smooth enamel — it gets the smooth surface after baking. But this didn’t happen with the orange enamel, though. I had to pour a second layer on it and bake again. But it didn’t work.
I made new borders to hide the failure.
And here is the result!
To sum up, I’m quite satisfied with the first results. New different ideas are crossing my mind. I’m going to try them out!