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.
I was very excited by my bead making in my last post and was anxious to try again with some more colors. I heated my kiln to 1500 degrees because I thought the beads took too long to fire the last time around. I quickly discovered that wasn't the answer. The enamel burned around the holes before it got to the smooth stage so I turned the kiln down to 1470 degrees and that seemed the perfect temp for bead making. I tried painting flux on the mandrels but that didn't help, the beads still stuck and it was very hard to get them off. I need to get some Bead Release or Scalex which I read worked. I tried a darker red since my last try with red didn't go well (see my last post) but that was another disaster! Orange was also a failure, the enamel 'pinged' right off. I'm not sure of the reason for this but I think it's because of the co-expansion rate not being compatible with a curved surface. The third bead in the picture, the one still on the mandrel was a dark purple. For some reason, it come out pitted and a weird color, but I will try a different purple over it. I also want to try some more artistic things on the larger beads I have and I will share these good or bad! All in all I did end up with three more beads that came out smooth and shiny and I consider them a success!