About Me

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I am an artist, wife and mother, paraeducator, yo-yo dieter, and small town country girl. I love singing in my church choir, computer time, beading and making jewelry. And I love enameling! There is something very magical about turning powder into smooth, shiny, and colorful glass.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Silver Foil

Silver foil is a gorgeous addition to transparent enamels. Although it's pricey, you can use tiny amounts to create interesting and classy effects to your jewelry. One of the nicest uses of foil I've seen is in this wooden trinket box cover that was made by my sister Elin when she was just a teenager. 
I loved it and she gave it to me and it's been one of my prized possessions for many years.  The foil was cut into tiny squares and fired several times adding more foil and another layer of the red enamel each time so the foil looks like it's different colors.  I haven't done anything this complicated yet!

 To try this technique yourself, use fine silver foil. It comes packaged in a leaf which is sandwiched between sheets of tissue.
It's easier to use if you cut or punch out the shape you want with the tissue in place. Do not use the metal composite foil you find at craft stores because it will just burn up in the kiln. Using tweezers, place the piece of foil you've cut out where you want it on the prepared enameled piece. Feed some adhesive liquid under the foil with the paintbrush so you can easily adjust the position. 
Let it dry completely and fire for 2 minutes. It will sink into the transparent enamel and "crinkle" interestingly. You can enamel over it if you want but that will change the silver color. The pendant above was left alone after the foil firing because I liked the way it turned out. I once enameled over the foil with a red color and it beaded up instead of smoothing out. It looked interesting even though it wasn't planned.  The earrings on the right were created by putting the foil circles over transparent pink (which was enameled over white) and then putting another coat of pink over it. The foil turned this great gold color so I enhanced it by enameling a little dark yellow around the edges. You can also enamel a coat of clear enamel over the foil to create some depth but make sure to use clear for silver not copper which will yellow the foil.
                                                     Make something beautiful!

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