Vitreous (or glass) enamel can be a beautiful thing, but it can be extremely frustrating too. Like all things glass it’s fragile and should be handled with care. Enamel is a great way to add color and depth to jewelry and I enjoy working with it. Or, I should say, I enjoy working with it when it works.
Remember my Identity Ring?
This little piece was selected to be a part of the International Enamelist Society Exhibition coming this fall. You know, the same show I’m creating the catalog for. I was so excited to be chosen. That is, until I unwrapped my little ring and discovered an enamel chip on the front piece. The record and the speaker (red section) are both vitreous enamel which means they are glass and fragile. I’ve always handled the piece carefully, but knew the red section was living on borrowed time. Well, time was up and it needed to be fixed. I had attached the piece with some clear silicone and was able to remove it and etch off the remaining enamel. My friend (and enamelist extraordinaire) Sarah, suggested I make a little curved stand for it so the metal didn’t warp in the kiln. All was going well and I thought I was done. I even took it out to Sarah’s to show her how well it had worked.
I spoke too soon. The minute I unwrapped it when I got home a corner chipped off. Argh! So today I fire up the kiln again and attempt this little #&$^%# a third time. And third time’s the charm, right?