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.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Tuesday's Tools

Four Piece Mandrel Set

I found this wire working mandrel set in Michaels for a very reasonable price and I had a 40% off coupon! The mandrels are made from heavy duty plastic and are round, oval, square and triangular shaped. There is a handle that can used on any of the mandrels. What I like about this tool is that it is lightweight and easy to hold. What I don't like is that the plastic bends too much to stay secure in a vise. If you are making something that requires two hands, the mandrel wiggled around a bit too much. I was able to rest it on my work table and make it work. And I really liked having the oval, square and triangle shapes available!


Monday, October 8, 2012

Weekend Warrior

Experimenting With Crackle Enamel

 I wanted to replicate the crackle effect I've seen on some gorgeous ceramic beads but of course with enamel! I had bought some crackle base a few years ago but never used it. Time to experiment! Unfortunately, there is not a lot of information on using it. I had the page from the Thompson enamel book but it was pretty technical information. I also was confused because you have to use liquid enamel over the crackle base but in some cases the liquid enamel was also called crackle enamel. I went ahead and cleaned my bead and sifted a coat of clear crackle base on it.

I fired the bead at 1470 degrees for three minutes. It came out looking like this.

The next step is to apply the liquid enamel over the crackle base. I only have white in the liquid enamel. First you have to add water and mix it well (there are good directions on the package) and then dip the bead in it.

The liquid has to dry completely before it is fired.

I fired the bead at 1470 degrees for 3 1/2 minutes. Viola! It crackled!

I wouldn't say this is exactly what I had in mind but it's not bad either. The liquid enamel fires to a less glossy finish than regular enamel. More experimenting to come!! If you are reading this and laughing at my bead, please feel free to comment, I would truly love some advice on using crackle enamel!