More work with enamels

After the end of term (apart from a Friday sculpture class) I had enough spare time to tinker with some enamels. Some 'bronze' 2p pieces were rolled a little to reduce the surface detail, with annealing as required. These particular 2p pieces are now becoming uncommon; more modern ones are actually made of steel with an outermost thin layer of copper alloy. I use a magnet to separate them out. A 1.5mm steel wire was polished with sand paper then coiled into a shephard's crook sort of shape, and used between two of these rolled bronze coins to impress the design when the sandwich was again rolled through the mill. For good measure, I repeated the trick with two squares of 1.5mm annealed copper. I had intended to use these for enamel tests - see the picture in the right-hand bar.DSCF0555bDSCF0555bDSCF0555bAnother two bronze coins, again rolled to reduce the amount of relief design on the surface, were drifted with diamond flux before firing. Then a piece of coarse metal mesh was laid on top and opaque white enamel powder drifted on top. The mesh was carefully removed and the result fired, to give a nice regular array of bumps in white. It was then re-fired sufficiently hot to cause the diamond flux to bubble up under the white and give a beautiful sparkling gold appearance. Other areas went green / black, probably some interaction between the flux and copper oxide (i.e. scale from the first firings). See picture in the right-hand bar.