I have been working on my latest lotus collection pieces tonight. They are turning out great. The new red color of enamel is very vivid. The enameling process is very interesting. I go through five steps to enamel a piece.
1. Prepare the surface by depletion gilding and cleaning. Depletion gilding is the process in which you heat up the silver and cool it quickly (in a pickle solution for 5 mins) such that the copper comes to the surface that the pickle removes leaving a fine silver layer. This is done 5 or 6 times.
2. Prepare and apply the enamel by wet packing carefully with a pick (a tool with a very fine tip).
3. Fire the enamel at 1500 degrees for 2 minutes.
4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 to add more layers until the piece is filled.
5. Stone, flash fire and polish the piece.
That’s about it. It takes a lot of time and patience for each piece!