Danaca Enamel Workshop 2

My enamel practice for 2014 started with teaching a Saturday mini-workshop at a local jewellery studio here in Seattle. The owner of the studio, Dana, was holding this class for a bunch of her close friends and so most of the attendees were acquaintances, if not actual friends of mine.

So what was I to do when shenanigans ensued?

kiln forks at 2 paces...
kiln forks at 2 paces…

Luckily they all worked as hard as they played – here’s some of their test firings on steel can, regular mild steel and Thompson’s Low Carbon Steel test squares. Dana even made a pair of ‘potato chip’ earrings, firing the beige onto ovoid sections of the rippled steel can.

Montage of samples produced
Montage of samples produced

It was also my first opportunity to test the Thompson GC-16 Cobalt Blue, otherwise know as their ground coat. It worked really well, though a couple of people remarked to me that they actually preferred the colour of the clear enamel on the raw steel and so would probably stick to that as a base coat. I’m inclined to agree, but I’m happy to have some of the GC-16 in my supplies for more stubborn pieces of recycled steel.

As a real test for the ground-goat I slathered a layer over a piece of low carbon steel that I had not sandblasted, only washed with some detergent and scoured it with a pretty crummy piece of Scotchbrite. It actually fared better than I expected.

Thompson GC-16 fired on a low carbon steek square. Not great, but I didn't sandblast it first, so not bad...
Thompson GC-16 fired on a low carbon steek square. Not great, but I didn’t sandblast it first, so not bad…