Saturday, March 9, 2013

Saturday Share - Playing with Torch-fired Enamel Compound Elements

You all know of my love for torch-fired enameling by now!  There are so many techniques to learn and master with this immersion style of enameling, a la my guru, Barbara Lewis.

This week I have been playing with combining enameled components by firing them together.  There is a learning curve, for sure!  Once you have the pieces you want to combine fired, putting them together so they form one cohesive element is the tricky part.

If all components have holes, it is a bit easier...just line them up on your mandrel and re-introduce in the flame until the enamel starts to get glassy and use your pulling station or tool (pliers/tweezers) to make sure they come into contact and stick.

Here are few sets I put together...

When one or more of the elements don't have a mandrel hole, it gets a bit more complicated...if one piece has a hole and you can get it hot enough and turn it around on the mandrel just so, you can add the other component with tweezers/pliers.  You can also use a firing tripod and trivet if you don't mind the bottom piece sticking a bit.  

Here is a pair I am happy with that I did in this fashion...

Another set I tried, I just couldn't get the top component to stay where I wanted, and the bottom layer overfired while I played :(  Practice, practice, practice!!

For more information on combining enameled components together in this manner, check out Barbara's Ning site...she has some great video tutorials.

Our own Sue Kennedy has become a master of this is a pair of her cool compound beads.

From our own Sue Kennedy of SueBeads
So, all you torch-fired enamel artists out there?  Have you tried making compound beads?  Any tips or issues?  Success? I would love to hear from you!

Happy Saturday!

Melissa Meman


  1. Those are pretty awesome Melissa! I haven't really tried putting components together much. Great job.

  2. Love this technique! Thank you for sharing.

  3. Its been months since I've played with my torch and enamel - your designs have inspired me to try it again! Beautiful colours!

  4. Very unique! I love them all especially the top one.

  5. Melissa, These are fantastic! Thanks for the shout out about the Ning. We've picked up several new members! Keep up the good work!

  6. I am just a complete lover of those of you that work with enamal! Such beautiful colors and blends I want them all!


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