Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The beauty of Liquid Enamel!

I absolutely love the versatility of liquid enamel!  I also love the satin surface of the fired enamel, which is very unlike other enamels. The porcelain clay in liquid enamel contributes to its buttery smooth surface.  


Liquid Enamel over Copper Pipe, Copper Mesh, and Copper Sheet


I use liquid enamel ... 

  • as a replacement for Klyr-Fire.  You can apply it to the entire piece of copper and sift 80 mesh enamel onto the surface before the Liquid Enamel dries.  This approach gives you a good foundation for other techniques
  • when I want to do sgraffito.  Sgraffito is a technique where you scratch through the unfired surface of the enamel to reveal either a different base layer of enamel or the metal beneath.  The lines of the sgraffito design remain dark as a result of the oxidation of copper during firing. Sifting colored transparent enamels on top doesn't budge the toasty brown color of the oxidized copper.  In fact, the transparent enamels can be layered upon each other to create shading and entirely new colors. 
  • when I want to accent etching. You can dip an etched piece into liquid enamel, allow it to dry, and finger sand the enamel from the high points of the etched design. 
  • when I want to preserve a very delicate material, such as copper mesh.  Because glass is an insulator, applying liquid enamel to delicate metals will protect them. 
Pictured below is "A Mother's Heart," by Kathleen Kilgore, Tampa Bay Sculptor. Welded from strips of steel, Kathleen wanted to add color.  White liquid enamel was handpainted by Kathleen on each of the strips.  Orient Red (1870) and Sunset Orange (1840) with a smattering of Raspberry (2836) enamels were sifted onto select areas of the sculpture. The heart received multiple firings.


"A Mother's Heart" by Kathleen Kilgore
  
This is a "first look" at liquid enamel.  Stay tuned for more. 

4 comments:

Judypag said...

I have been working a little with liquid enamels and have been having a lot of fun, I love the results

Connie Permenter said...

Hello Barbara ! This is totally incredible!

Anonymous said...

Just wondering about Kathleen Kilgore's piece-was the steel sandblasted prior to enameling it?

Barbara Lewis said...

I don't think her piece was sandblasted. At one point we encouraged rust to form on it but dipping it in water, but then decided to enamel it. So, essentially, we enameled over the rust. :-)