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.

Saturday, April 16, 2011


One of my customers to my supplies shop ordered extra long head pins from me and then asked for advice on making earrings using bead with holes in the center. I experimented and liked the earring I made and decided to pass the tutorial on to you. And I'm giving these earrings away! Entering this giveaway is easy, you can become a follower of this blog an leave a comment with your email so I can contact you if you're the winner! Or you can like my facebook page and leave a comment there, too. If you do both, you'll get two chances to enter.
       The enameled flowers were made with copper blanks and first enameled with a clear coat. I then put a layer of white, not too heavy, and fired it again. Then came two coats of transparent purple. I seemed to be obsessed with purple lately! The speckled layer of white causes the purple to be mottled and a bit rustic looking. 
       The next step is to make the head pins. I use 20 ga. argentium sterling wire and cut it to 2 1/2 in. long. I then lit my small butane torch. Put the wire into the flame at the edge of blue flame. If you can see a yellow flame behind the wire, you've hit the sweet spot! As the wire melts and balls up, move the wire down into the flame until you've got a 2mm. ball and slowly take it out.
Make two of these. Let the wire cool, then put it into the pickle solution for a few minutes.  Scrub it with the Penny Brite and then polish it by hand or put it into a tumbler.
      Put your head pin through your bead and put a seed bead or small bead behind it. Then bend the head pin at a right angle and down over the seed and focal bead. This will keep the focal bead upright. You may have to fiddle with it to get it just right.
Then create the ear wire above that. I use wire forming tools but you can also bend the wire over mandrel such as a pen. Snip off the ends of the wire until you like the length and smooth the edges. You've got gorgeous hand crafted earrings!

 This giveaway ends on May 1st and the winner will be contacted by email. Good luck!!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

More Enameled Beads

I finally got around to making some more beads and I was pleased how they came out so I wanted to share the technique I used. These beads are 14mm in diameter. I decided not to put the liquid enamel inside because they were smaller but the down side is that the ash that forms on the copper when you fire them comes out of the holes and it's messy. I bought some Scalex to paint on the mandrels which worked great. The beads didn't stick at all! The first layer of enamel was clear for copper. I put it on fairly thick. The beads come out of the kiln a beautiful copper color and I didn't worry if there were some bare copper spots. The idea was to make something a bit more rustic. I then put on a light layer of foundation white and fired again. I put the beads in the vinegar and salt pickle after each firing to get the firescale out of the inside. The next coat was the transparent color coat.  I only planned on one coat but the colors were just too light so I did a second coat. Much better! It was nice to embrace the little imperfections in the enamel and the speckled white layer gave the colors a variegation that was interesting.

The colors are all Thompsen Enamels and some are vintage leaded I bought on Ebay. The front row is Raspberry, Geranium Pink, Tea Rose Pink and the back row is Concord Purple, Harold Purple, Orchid

My husband's favorite Spring flowers are Hyacinths and we can't wait for them to bloom so I made Hyacinth colored beads instead!