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.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Base Colors Under Transparents

As I mentioned in my last post I became intrigued by a challenge from the people who write the ArtBeadScene blog. Their newest challenge is to use a beautiful Impressionistic painting as inspiration to create a piece of jewelry using art beads. You can click on the link to see the painting. The colors in this painting are gorgeous and vibrant but also muted. Since my newest interest is enameled art beads, I wanted to create beads in the same colors of the painting. I don't usually make muted colors! I decided to try using a darker opaque color as the base color instead of white, something I've never really tried before.
After I fired on the first coat of clear flux, I sifted on a coat of opaque Nude Gray. I didn't put it on too thick because I like to create a speckled effect.
I don't like this color all by itself! I then used transparent colors I thought were the same color tones as in the painting: yellows, blues, and pinks. I also made a green set. Some beads were made with just one color, some two.
I fired them and a few needed another coat. Although these colors are not what I usually gravitate to, I love how they came out. I think using a light brown or other neutral would work, too. If I manage to finish this challenge and design a piece a jewelry using some of these beads, I will post it.

Friday, July 1, 2011


I found these great leaf shaped blanks at Schlaifers Enamels. I made summery earrings from the smaller leaves but I knew the larger leaves would be perfect for a technique called Sgraffito. It's an easy technique with great results!

First I used an awl type of tool to put a dent where I wanted the hole to be and then drilled a hole. I used a chisel I found at a yard sale to make the spine of the leaf and used my dapping block to hammer it into a curved leaf shape.                               
I checked out some actual leaves and discovered the veins were both lighter and darker depending on the plant. For this technique, it's better to use enamels with a contrast of dark to light colors.

                Clean the shaped blanks well and fire one or two coats of your base color which should be light or dark.  Make sure you counter enamel the backs in the same color as the fronts. I did fire one with a medium green and the results were good but the veins did not show up as much as the others. The colors I used were Mistletoe Green, Harvest Green, Lichen Green, Melon Yellow, and Pine Yellow.

             Then sift the contrasting color or colors over the top. Wait for the adhesive to dry completely. Next using a toothpick, scratch off the top layer where you want the leaf veins to be. It will look messy but that's OK.
     Fire again and that's it!