Sunday, April 1, 2012

Book Review: Torch Fired Enamel Jewelry




I've only taken one class in torch fired enameling and it was nothing short of a disaster.  A sub-set of students were some of the most misbehaved group of adults (and I use that term loosely) that I have ever experienced.  They hogged the materials, the torches, and the teachers time.  By the end of the class the table with the enamels looked like a bomb went off.  The powder was everywhere and the colors were all contaminated. 

I enjoyed what little I did manage to do in class.  I liked the technique.  I loved the colors and it's something I've always wanted to get back to.  So I picked up this book by Barbara Lewis.  She teaches you to enameling in a different way.  You place your bead or piece on a stainless steel mandrel, heat it until it glows, and then dip the piece into the enamel.  You repeat this process a couple times until you get the effect that you want. 

Barbara shows you how to set up a workstation and goes over basic tools and then jumps right into projects. The projects include necklaces, earrings, bracelets and rings and they all have that very funky, layered, organic look that I like. A number of them include ribbon, fiber, and wire wrapping.  One project I found particularly interesting involves copper pipe...both etching and enameling it. 

Amazon lets you take a peek inside the book if you are curious.

4 comments:

Boot ~C said...

bad fellow students can really wreck a class, can't they?

Barbara Lewis said...

Gail, Thank you for the review! I like that etched copper pipe bead too. You can tint the liquid enamels to almost any color in the rainbow. If you're interested in finding out more, just get back in touch with me. :-) Barbara

Katie Hanrahan said...

I bought the book about a month ago and LOVE it! Finally got some steel mandrels from a friend of a friend who does glass beads. Now to find the time to try this!

vicki said...

This is a great book for anybody interested in enameled jewelry.

I purchased a copy when it first came out and I think it is money very well spent.