Enamel Beading Set Up

This is a typical Enamel Beading set up that I like

This dates back to the old days of PINZART - Pam East - when she used to do enamel beading
I have a lot that chunk enamel - left I'll have to show soon as using tubing and the large mesh enamels was a lot of fun

This set up is for basic Enamel Beading with iron or base metal beads.
The metal cups are from Dollarama - you get 2/$1
The loaf pan from Dollarama - 3/$1
Vermiculite - Uline carries but they make you buy two huge bags - you can get at some garden centres 
Ceramic Tile for the base 
Mapp Gas Cannister
Fireworks self igniting torch head 
Metal band and angle piece to hold canister to the table 
Bowl of Beads
Bead Holding Mandrel  (Thompson Enamels)
Finger Bead Removal Tool (I make these) 
Your biggest cost is the torch head - but you could set up for under 100.00 and have a few enamels as well 

Torch Enamelling - Next Class

Getting ready to prep for the next class - Torch Enamelling - using a tripod, trivets and large pieces of copper for enamelling with a torch
Picked up these tripods from Gesswein  (sort of like a mini Rio Grande here in Canada)

If the Bead Enamel Glass goes well this should be a lot of fun too.

Enamel Bead Class - July 7

Still finishing up the last little things for the class
I've got everything stacked and ready to go - but I am sure I"ll forget something

It is at the Glass Shoppe Studio in Ottawa on July 7th  - two classes

I brought home the Finger Bead Removal tools yesterday - got the metal in and drilled and bent them - this morning I taped and painted them and let them dry in the sun.   I finished by putting on a price tag  and packing them up - I made up 25  - 9 for class and 16 in case any of the students wanted to buy one 1 for me and 8 for the tables.
I finished packaging up the iron beads for sale as well and then put them into a bigger flip top box to take with me - some will be left with The Glass Shoppe Studio for sale as well

Then I put the finishing touches on my Workshop booklet and printed them off 
All in all a pretty productive vacation day 

Heat Press and PnP Blue - fun

Got my new press yesterday and could not wait to give it a try

I have to find the right pressure , temp and time so I had to make up some blanks to give me some idea of what the best temps will be -   this way I can do multiple blanks at a time
I was impressed with the quality of this equipment and how heavy it was - its digital and works great
I did from about 150 degrees right up to 250 (where it sort of melted too much ) so stayed down around 166 degrees -  I then also moved it around to ensure the pressure was in different spots as I notice one end was light in a lot of samples - then I found the instructions on how to put more pressure on the plate and I did that -  but I will have to do more tomorrow - it was really hot today in the studio and with this on it made it even hotter

Here is a pic of all the ones I did today - I did them one at a time - the ones to the right were a single pass the ones to the left I did twice and moved them to opposite sides to change the pressure -
tomorrow I'll clean these off and redo them till I get the right mix
I need to make a few dozen bracelets and I find this can be the most tedious making sure the resist is just right 

I can actually make some T-shirts this as well - dual purpose - sweet !

Heat Press for PNP Blue - etching copper

I have a new toy coming to make it easier to work with the PnP Blue etching resist.  This way I can do multiple pieces at a time - the iron is great but it can only do one piece at a time - I should have it tomorrow so I can try it out on the weekend
Its a standard t-shirt press -
Cant wait to try this out - I need to make up a couple of dozen for my upcoming show at least and will make applying on various shapes easier
15" x 15" 

Enamel Beads - Making your own Bead Holder for enamelling beads

Using basic mandrels is fine but I like the type that has the sharp tips to place the metal beads or copper tube on.
I find that the sharp tip makes it easier to put the metal bead or tube on  to work with

Thompson has great Bead Holders with tips but I am in a rush and want to have for my classes

I  made some home made ones last night using 5/32 copper tube (12" long) and some 5/32 bead reamer ends

Was extremely easy and when finished worked great

5/32 coper tubing - 12" long (I like long handles)

the 5/32 bead reamer end fits nicely into the hollow 5/32 tube - 

 I put in about 1/4" of the end of the reamer 

then I used my larger cutters and crimped it down to the end -  be careful to slightly crimp just below end so that when you push on it wont push the reamer down further

nice long handle 

all made up for my classes 
took all of about 10 minutes to make all 8 
Typically you would use old reamers but in this case I needed some fast so I am using my new ones -

I figure approx cost is 3.50 and I could take another .50 off if I only had 6" handles 

New Base Metal Bead Shipment

Just got my new big box O beads - base metal beads  for enamel bead making class in Ottawa for July 7

There are a few items that were out of stock on my last order but they came with this order , along with earring findings, and some tiger tail wire -

These are a good size bead  and interesting shape , the color will change when put into the flame but overall I think a great bead to enamel 

I will make some of these up this weekend to see the effects - going to try a clear coating as well 
There are some disc shapes which will turn out great 

and these fluted bead cap/ends that will look great 
I'll post an enamel sample of each of the bead styles I have in stock  before and after 
this weekend 
Etching is on schedule for this weekend as well as enamelling so I should be posting some actual work for a change -   So very hot in the studio and hot outside  -  I cant win - cold in winter and hot in summer ... 

Blogged Down

Yes very blogged down with personal things to do for family - delayed my Ottawa Enamel Bead class as well - will have new things up this week  - including more etching , enamel beads and electroforming  -Ottawa Bead class delayed to july 7th  so stay tuned


I have someone coming today to find out how to electroform - so its find all the electroforming equipment and paint and chemicals and set up

Luckily I know where everything is - getting pretty organized in my studio  finally

Items you need
Electroforming copper paint -   Safer Solutions (my choice: http://www.safer-solutions.com/safer-solutions.com/International_Sales.html), Caswell or Dalmar (easyplate solution)

Copper wire - I used about 10g  and 24g
Copper plating solution :  Rio Grande - Caswell

Plastic or glass container - I use a galss beaker as you can put a cover on it after use

Rectifier - Rio Grande - Caswell or make your own

Here is pic of what the paint looks like :   Nice color -
You paint it onto your glass or ceramic etc...  If the item is organic like a dragon fly, a plant you need to seal it with a laquer - spray or dip etc... let dry and then paint over it 

This simplified set up has been the same one I've used - by Kate Fowle Meleney 
the outside copper wire has the red clip (positive)  the center  wire is independant  (single piece of 10g wire) and does not touch the side wire and  is connected to the black clip (negative)  the tape in the picture  just keeps them in place so they do not stray and touch the side wires.

the copper annodes are touching the side copper (positive) I just bend them over the 10g wire  rather than punching a hole and suspending from wire - but that is a preference .  The center  10g copper wire  (negative) holds the 24g wire that I wrapped around it and  have connected to the painted piece.  Somewhere on the piece I have the 24g touch the paint thus conducting the amps 

the side 10g copper  wire I bent in half - then bent down (see to the left) made hooks at each end to sit on top of the glass beaker-  this gets the red positive clip-   on the side pieces of this 10g copper wire  I hang the copper anodes  - any copper you have around they dont have to be perfect - long as there is enough copper hanging in the solution  for what your covering - as this is where the copper is taken from and then applied to your piece.
The rectifier - I got from Rio Grande - have always been happy with this 

This one is from Caswell (both Canada and USA have these )
Less expensive than Rio - your choice 

I have a bunch of the Rio Grande copper solution - but the next batch will come from Caswell as I can pick it up and it will cost less for me 

Erie looking ceramic face perfumery bottle suspended in the solution - IT'S ALIVE !    MWAH HA HA 

You must ensure that the piece has a copper wire connection - in this case a 24g wire I pushed inside and then put the end touching the paint - the other end I wrapped around the center copper wire to suspend from and the black clip is connected completing the circuit.

depending upon the amperage you can get different effect - high you get bumpy and dull , they say ideal is bright copper penny or lower you get a dull and smooth look.  

the face ended up with warts and all - why warts - I was in a rush to make a sample  and the paint was on a bit too thick and not completely dry - plus the amps were up high and thus it bubbled -kind of a neat effect either way 

Enamel Bead Class - Still prepping

Finished components for the start up bags and have them packed
Finished the for sale bead bags and they are ready

Priced out my Fireworks torch heads and clamps
Got some pliers from the dollar store that will work for holding wire in the flame and taking off enamel from mandrels.
Found my mapp gass cannister set up  - so many items I need to take to show options
I got some vermiculite and aluminum baking tins - and some of my bead blankets

I like my thompson bead holders but I dont have enough to go around  so I'll have to improvise - I dont like just mandrels as the holes on beads can range from teeny tiny to ginormous and tend not to be tight enough to my liking .  So this weekend its grinding mandrels to a point  which is not too hard to do - I have a grinder
I want to finish by friday so that I can etch on the weekend and get my pics taken for the step by step in art jewelry magazine and then I can relax and play.
Have a visitor coming to learn how to electroform on the weekend so there may be pics of that too.

Dont you love the dollar store !

My grand daughters visit me frequently and I am always looking for cool things to either play or make when they come over to keep them busy - the older one she can sit and play by herself and make bracelets etc.. the littlest one takes time and you have to pay attention at all times

I found these cool birdhouses that I am going to get them to paint  they are pretty big  and are cool when finished can be nailed to posts - I think they were 2.00 each  - less expensive than micheals -  they have little wooden boxes etc...  

Torch Enamel Beads Class up on The Glass Shoppe Studio Ottawa

The class is now posted for anyone who is in Ottawa or travelling to Ottawa for June 16 & 17th   a 3 hour intro course on torch bead enamelling    http://www.theglassshoppestudio.com/


will spend 3 hours explaining safety, types of materials to use, torches for home set up and base metals that you can enamel as well as enamels

I am very excited and look forward to seeing everyone.

This is a fun class - as it says no experience necessary - its not lampworking  where you have to create the base bead - we start with base metal beads, shapes or pieces and heat them up till they glow and dunk them in enamels -  and there are so many variations.  

More samples for Torch Enamel Class

18g copper pin heads 

combo using half beads with the pin head 

mix of some enamel pieces 

Prepping for Torch Enamel Class in Ottawa

Putting together kits for the enamel class - bags of beads , bags of material for necklaces
boxing up the extra beads to take with me
Boxes of metal beads for enamelling 

Enamel Class Bead Bags 

Putting together bead bags for sale

These are part of the enamel kit bag to make the necklace with after we complete the enamelling 

Art Jewelry Editors' Choice - May 10 Newsletter - My Hadar Jacobson Metal Clay Face

I had mentioned that Art Jewelry Magazine chose my bronze face as an Editors' choice last month (May 10 Newsletter)But then they also emailed me that it could be tentatively featured in and upcoming "Up Front" department in an issue of Art Jewelry Magazine as well .  This face was made in a Hadar Jacobson class - I've made them in ceramic and silver and polymer clay but by far I love the bronze, copper, steel mix.

Art Jewelry Subscriber Gallery
Editors' Choice!

The editors would like to congratulate Deborah Read, aka "Dread" -- we chose her "Bronze Face" piece as our favorite piece posted in our online subscribers' galleries within the last month. The piece features a bronze metal clay face wrapped in a scarf made of steel, bronze, and copper metal clay.

Subscribers to Art Jewelry magazine can post their work in the Subscriber Work galleries on ArtJewelryMag.com, where everyone can see it. Each month the editors of Art Jewelry magazine will vote to pick their favorite piece. Check out our June 14 newsletter for the next winner!