A rainy night enameling…

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!