Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Torch-Fired Enamel Leaves for Mosaics

Torch-fired enamel on copper leaves
I've been playing with the copper, enamels and torch again!  

From my silhouette pieces I made recently I had a bag of odd shaped 'scraps' of 22 gauge copper. So I shaped quite a lot of them into leaves using metal shears. Each one has a little 'tab' that I used to hold the shape for torch firing. (Click the photo if you'd like to see it larger.)

I used Barbara Lewis's torch method of heat and dip in enamel, after first cleaning the cut shape well. The beauty of this method is that it also coats the edges of the shape with enamel meaning no fussy filing was necessary. But the difficulty of this method is that the tool you are holding the shape with inevitably also gets a dusting of enamel, which then, of course, will fuse to the tool making removal of the fired shape a problem. To try to solve that issue, I dipped the tweezer points in bead release solution. The kind often used for the mandrels when making lamp-worked beads.

Coating the tool with bead release worked out fairly well. It needed to be reapplied after a handful of leaves and did leave a bit of residue on the tab and back of some leaves. But I'm not concerned with the back, or the tab, since these are intended for placement on top of a mosaic and the tab will be buried in a grout line.

Next up- dreaming up a project to use these leaves in!


Pam said...

Lovely leaves Linda!

Linda Pieroth Smith said...

Thank you Pam!

Chris Emmert said...

Oh Linda So very cool. I've been thinking of this copper type of thing for awhile. I would really like to involve my husbands help in my work and this just might be the ticket. He's a precision welder and has a steady hand and loves to play..........Chris

Linda Pieroth Smith said...

That sounds ideal for him then! Looking forward to seeing what you both come up with :)