pendant and earrings with a bit of enamel in recessed area. I torch fired them and even in case of so simple projects I had problems with enamelled surface cracking. So generally I was a bit psyched out by enamelling ;) and I worked only with uv resin and epoxy enamel since then.
But then Metal Clay Today announced theme of their Summer 2012 challenge - "Enamored" - enamelling on metal clay. Well, I thought that it would be great pretext to finally try enamelling again, and this time make something more complex. I had only a few colours of enamel, so I decided to go "black & white" with 22 K gold accents. I drew a rough sketch:
Then I formed around it a thick coil out of Fimo to make a support for my concave frame:
I formed a frame on it, let it dry, and then I took it off Fimo coil. I filed my frame a bit ( a few "chips") to add vintage touch to its shape:
Then I added a background to the frame - to make a support for my future cabochon, and fired it in my kiln to turn ACS into pure silver.
After firing I checked if the cab still fits the frame :).
And then I begun enamelling... I really know nothing about it, but thanks to wonderful Joy Funnell I read some basics and knew more or less how to begin. So I begun with counter enamel. I chose opaque black. I only left a little leaf motif at the back to be filled later with white enamel. I used so called wet packing technique - I just "packed" wet enamel on silver surface using a tiny brush. Actually I was really surprised that enamel powder stuck somehow to this curved surface and didn't slip down. I fired this in my kiln in 800 °C. It came out not too smooth, with no enamel in a few places, so I had to add more enamel and fire it again. There is a big difference (for me) between firing enamel and firing metal clays - you have to put a piece into the kiln which is already SO very hot. I did it for the first time in my life - I've never opened orange glowing kiln before - it was really scary ;).
Then I begun working on a front of my cab. I was gilding and adding enamel at the same time - temperature in which enamel is fired is sufficient for gold to fuse on silver surface.
After adding black enamel I covered rest of silver surface with white enamel. I was afraid that during firing counter enamel may stick to my firing pad, so I put a few scalpels under it ;). I have no enamel firing trivet or tray, so I had to improvise.