Oh what fun I had in the workshop yesterday. For the last six months, I have been collecting information and supplies to try torch fired enamel and finally gave it a try this weekend. And I'm hooked. I love it!!! Armed with a tutorial or two (and a comprehensive lesson on using the torch from my patient SO) I drilled some pennies; cleaned them thoroughly and then set out to color them like jelly beans! As a surprise, my DSO bought me a "starter kit" (of sorts) of assorted enamel powders - 14 little bags of color - to play with as I wanted. I couldn't wait to get started.
Using the first tutorial I found, I mixed my first enamel powder color choice with distilled water (50/50 ratio) and filled in the top of my first penny.......a penny I hadn't drilled. The tutorial said to let the enamel and water mixture dry but I did not have the patience to let it dry, so I fired away. I was a little tentative with the torch at first, but wisely started out making some copper head pins which relaxed my fears a little. After the first penny was fired, I let it cool in a fiber blanket. Once it cooled down, I was thrilled with the color and look of it and couldn't wait to do more.
Faced with the 14 bags of assorted colors, I couldn't wait to try more colors. Using a screen from a faucet (I absolutely have to get a small hand held sifter) I sifted the colors directly onto the cleaned pennies - and did layers of colors.
Turquoise enamel powder
Base of opaque orange with a layer of red on top
A layer of golden brown with a layer of turquoise on top
Golden brown with a sifting of my run-off waste
Just to prove that I really used pennies!!
A couple of great, informative articles/tutorials on how to torch fire enamel: