Welcome to the latest in a series of articles to do with enamelling and making jewellery. I hope you find them useful. I am writing about issues and problems I have experienced (and hopefully overcome), and tips and shortcuts concerning enamelling and making jewellery that I have come across in the course of the past twenty years or so. In this post I am going to tell you one of the ways I use Carefree Lustre in my enamelling.
I like to add touches of gold to a lot of my enamels, just to add a little ‘twinkle’. I used to use precious metal essence. This is very expensive and also very tricky to use. Recently I have been using Carefree Lustres and have been very pleased with the results. I buy mine from Enamelsupply.com. For those members of Guild of Enamellers who are coming to conference in April, Tom Lumsden will be attending and will bring small orders with him so saving on postage!
Using Gold Carefree Lustre – Part 1
I often like to add painted line detail using this. I take a little in a tiny pallet and using an eye dropper I add a drop of Klyre Fire and mix it. Using a fine brush I paint it on quite thickly. The surface needs to be free from grease and if it is ‘balling up’, I clean the surface with a cotton bud dipped in methylated spirit. The Carefree Lustre dries very quickly. When dry you can neaten lines by scratching back with a cocktail stick and blowing away the dust. I fire in a very hot kiln, around 950 – 1000 for 30 seconds. I then check it. There will probably be some dust still on the surface that will rub off but underneath should be fired. If necessary I return it to the kiln for another 20 seconds. It is very easy to over-fire and for it to burn out. Applying it in a thick layer gives you a little leeway. I keep the pallet in a resealable plastic bag and reconstitute it as required with a little more Carefree lustre and Kyre fire. If it is very hot where I am working, sometimes I might add a drop or two of water.
Note: After I wrote this I acquired a Digital kiln. I have just tried firing for 1 minute at 900 and this worked well. I may try shortening the period to say 50 seconds another time.
This is one way I use Carefree Lustre. I hope you find it useful and will have a go adding Carefree Lustre detail to your enamels.