It is necessary to completely clean the metal surface you are enameling. Penny Brite is absolutely the best for cleaning copper. I've tried a few other copper cleaners and a mild acid that was recommended in a catalogs, but Penny Brite is the best. The metal has to be completely clean from dirt and oil or the glass will just pop right off! I have to order Penny Brite on line because I can't find it in stores. A glass brush is used to clean the glass before putting on another layer and the alundum stone is necessary for grinding off imperfections in your finished piece and cleaning the edges of the metal.
Other necessary tools include stilts and mesh stands to keep your piece from being in contact with other surfaces it will stick to while it's being fired. You will need a potholder or fireproof glove. My glove has been very helpful when I drop a piece on the carpet when I'm taking it out of the kiln and the carpet is smoking and I need to pick it up quickly. A long fork is great for taking the mesh stand out of the kiln. Different sifters are needed to sift the powdered glass on the metal which has been coated with a fixative. A timer is very important as the enamel can burn quickly once it's reached that perfect shiny stage. And a mask is important to keep the glass dust out of your lungs especially if you're using vintage enamel or leaded enamels. I usually use a particulate respirator even though that isn't what I have pictured. I'm pretty careful about using the mask as I do use some leaded enamels and it just makes me feel better.
There are several places to buy enameling supplies. RioGrande has a creative arts catalog with lots of enameling supplies. On line you can't beat Schlaifer's Enameling Supplies. They have everything you need to get started in enameling including kilns. I bought their 1 oz. sample kits of enamels which were great to start out with. Another great place is Warg Tools in Scarborough, Maine. Although they don't have an online catalog, if you know what you need they will ship it to you. When my kids were going to UMaine I always stopped there but now they've graduated and I do miss that store! Different copper shapes can also be found on ebay and etsy.
This first post ended up lengthy and I appreciate your time! My next post will jump right in with a step by step tutorial on basic enameling.