Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Fun with separation enamel

by Julie Holmes

Separation enamel is a fun  enameling technique that yields interesting, sometimes unpredictable and sometimes wonderful results.  I have not done much of it, but I think it's worth exploring.  You can read an article about it here: .

Here is an example of a bowl I made using separation enamel. Two colors of transparent enamel were sifted over the flux, followed by a layer of two colors of opaque, and then a layer of two colors of transparent again.  The separation enamel was painted on in stripes at the edge of the bowl. It was allowed to dry thoroughly while the kiln temperature was increased to 1600 degrees F and then fired for about 3 minutes.  You can see that the separation enamel "ate" through all the layers down to the flux

I tried a smaller piece in my kiln this week using separation enamel that came with some 30 year old enamels and supplies I found on eBay.  The results weren't great...but I had no idea what to expect and that's what makes it fun!  Over an initial layer of flux I sifted 1.  transparent blue 2.  opaque pink  3.  transparent green  The separation enamel only made it down to the flux in a couple spots, and it may have been because this was old lead-bearing stuff that doesn't work well laid flat, or it may have been that at 1500 my kiln wasn't hot enough.  Two of my holes got filled in by the effects of the glass flowing around in the kiln....but still...I kind of like the weird color and pattern that resulted.

These last two photos are work done by enameling pro Tom Ellis and show just how gorgeous this technique can be.  You can buy separation enamel from Thompson Enamel here:

It's inexpensive, it's fun, it adds something new to your enameling arsenal.  Enjoy!


Kristi Bowman said...

Wow, this is very cool stuff. Wish I had more time!!!!

stacilouise said...

this is gorgeous! Your experiments are beautiful and look pro to me!!! I never even knew these existed.

Stacie said...

So amazing! I have never heard of this either...what a great idea!

Artisan Beads Plus said...

Wow! That is really cool! I've never heard of separation enamel before. When I get time later on (after work) I will check out the links :o)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...