Blue rustic shell torch enameled copper earrings. With some awesome fire patina, and the copper showing in parts to create a truly rustic shell. Ocean inspired find on the beach!
Stainless steel earwires.
I handcraft the enamel jewelry in my studio. There is a lot of sanding and torching involved! The items are fired with a torch using the dipping and dangling method with several layers of enamel, one at a time. It is a careful process and requires a steady hand! I handcraft the earwires out of jewelry grade (surgical) stainless steel wire.
WHAT IS ENAMELED COPPER?
Enameling is glass fused to metal at high heat. Enamels are finely ground glass, like fine sand (or even more finely pulverized and mixed with an oil or adhesive). They may be opaque or transparent; their colors come from the use of various oxides.
For my enameled copper jewelry I start with copper sheet that I draw and cut the shapes from. There are several stages of working with copper after this: shaping, filing, sanding, drilling cleaning. Enamels are applied to the base metal using a variety of techniques. These may include dusting the enamel through a sifter; stencil; use of adhesives to bind the powdered glass for sgraffito, painting, freehand drawing or lettering; silkscreen; and other techniques.
The pieces are then torch fired, either by holding with a steel rod or by using a trivet on a stand. Several layers of enamel need to be applied one at a time to produce a thick enough finish. !
Enameling is characterized by brilliant, non-fading colors, tremendous durability, variety of color effects depending on angle of light, and tremendous versatility – from jewelry (many people are familiar with cloisonne, which is a type of enameling), to bowls and wall pieces, to large-scale interior or exterior murals. The medium of enameling goes back two thousand years and forms part of the artistic heritage on six continents.
How to care for enameled copper: Enamel is glass, not paint, so it does not fade under ultraviolet light. There is no particular care needed, you can wash it with water and/or wipe it with a cloth if needed.