I know you hear me talk about torch-firing all the time, but it occurs to me that you might not know some of the differences between the "traditional" method of torch firing and the Painting with Fire method. It makes me smile when I use the word "traditional" to describe torch firing, because I don't think anyone would consider torch firing a traditional enameling technique!
In the traditional method, you must clean the metal because the enamel will be applied to cold metal. You must apply a fixative like Klyr-Fire to keep the enamel on the piece. You must sift the enamel onto the piece and try to get an even coating. Because you're sifting, you must wear a dust mask. You'll place your piece on a firing trivet and go at it, but that's only for the first coat. Then you must place your piece in a pickle to remove firescale from the unenameled side, spray Klyr-fire, sift, and repeat the firing process.
Now that you've got ONE coat on the piece, you'll probably want to add one or two more coats, at least. Finally, you need to grind off the marks that the trivet has left. I forgot to add that you're wielding a 2 lb. torch in your hand.
If you turn the process upside down you get the Painting with Fire method. We don't clean the metal, we don't apply a fixative, we don't sift the enamel ... and our torch is safely anchored to the table so we have both hands free!
You place your piece on a mandrel. We dangle it in the flame. This heating removes all oils, dirt and grime ... hence, no cleaning or pickling. We immerse the hot metal into enamel. The minute the enamel hits the hot metal it begins to fuse to the piece. Hence, no counter-enameling to cover the back and no need for pickling because we get front and back with one dip. So, no Klyr-fire or sifting are needed.
We bring the piece back to the flame and reheat, dip, reheat, dip and you're done. Now wasn't that easy!