Grains of Glass

An open studio for enamel artists worldwide







I use ninamiya enamels,which are leaded enamels, with these tutorials..I also wears IR glasses shade 3 and a respirator..all these items are available
phone#1800 596 3257...coral shaffer
































Tags: -, cloisonné, fire, hierholzer, torch

Views: 1574

Replies to This Discussion

Great tutorial!  Thannk you so much for all the work you put into this process!


Thank you Jean,

Chris does an incredible job of producing an indepth step by step for the beginner. Especially learning how to place the torch. I am not a "torcher" so this was very educational for me. Bravo! Chris

Nice tutorial! I would like to know more about the leaded enamels and torch firing. Chris mentioned that they react differently from the unleaded Thompson enamels. Can't wait to see another demo at the upcoming FSGNE workshop in January!! Great shot of the "Maine Coon Boxer"

When you show the torch starting out lower...then you move it up over the last 4 pictures.  How much time elapses?  Is it a slow process to move up to fire?


I would like to know the answer to this question as well. did I miss it? ( it actually applies not only to this tutorial but to the initial torch work tutorial ad well) thanks!

Nice - I noticed the gold foil became crosses. What did you do to make them crosses. Did you scrape the foil before firinf or after?

Fantastic tutorial, thank you!

Please. how is your torch setup so that you can raise and lower it during firing?

The torch is manipulated by hand...the trivet support is a heavy guage soldering screen with a 1"x1"hole sawn in the middle so that the flame is not impeded by a heat sink...the trivet is placed over the hole..the trivet support is placed on 4 firebricks..2 firebricks per side...the flame is confined to the space between the firebricks...look at the other tutorials and you should understand the sequence for torch firing enamels.

Chris, what a great tutorial! I love your attention to detail in the photos..."a picture is worth a thousand words". I still have so much to learn from you. Keep on keepin' on...

Kelley Dragon

Chris and Trish

An excellent tutorial!  Two questions...

When firing cloisonne in a kiln I've been taught to look for a slight liquid brightness to appear at the base of the wires, indicating that they are fusing to the flux.  The object is then withdrawn from the kiln immediately to avoid the flux creeping up the wires.  Is this the same with using a torch or do you look for some other indicator of when to remove the heat?

I have not been using IR3 glasses but have been considering doing so even when using my kiln.  To what extent do these restrict vision; for example, would it be possible to see the brightness (whether torch or kiln firing) at the base of the wires while using these glasses?

Again, nice job on the tutorial.  You really have this "down pat"!


Chris your tutorial is excelent.Your work is also amazing,I like the Potato head:) all your designs are unique.

I work in a bit different way. All my fine silver/enamel-jewelry has a rim to protect the enamel against sidewise shocks. The rims are 0,7 - 0,8 mm in height. The cloisonné wire I use are 0,15 - 0,2 mm thick and 0,8 - 0,9 mm high, so that the wires always are a bit higher than the frame.

After conter-enamelling and polishing the front-side, I apply an only 1 grain (80 meshes) high layer of silver-flux on to the front-side and fire it. After cooling down I roughen the flux very careful with a diamond-cutter. Instead of the commercial glue (Klyfire, Blue-stick etc.), or glues from plants ( Lotus-root, rice-slime,          ) I use a solution of wall-paper-glue, which works for me best. With this glue I glue the cloisonné-wires onto the roughen flux-surface.

Here, I make sure that the wires everywhere satisfied to rest on the Flux shift.

Then I sift on an also only one grain thick shift of very well dedusted flux and firing again.

I had never the problem, which the flux raised up on the cloisonné wire. 

So as I wrote, I use this method on fine silver. Whether it also works well on copper, you must, if you want, try out.













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A dvd using a rare and beautifull technique that chris hierholzer has developed using sgrafitto with fine gold foil using a torch to fire instead of a kiln. the enamel is wet packed. it has lots of intructional and easy to read text and limited audio with optional torch set ups at the end.

 Torch firing is a perfect way to fire enamels for those with limited space and can't afford the high cost of a kiln.

click on: Ganoksin

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enamelwork supply co.
1 800 596 3257
1 206 525 9271



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Hauser and MillerBi-metal Sheet and Discs


A layer of 18k gold alloy with a rich yellow color or 22k gold alloy with a bright yellow color is bonded with sterling silver to form two distinct surfaces. The 18k gold layer is similar to that of most gold-filled products, while the 22k is two to three times thicker than gold-filled, giving it more workability. Surface treatments, such as engraving, scraping, folding, and twisting, can be used to accent the two surfaces.


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A Safe Way to Pickle!




DVD by Jim Lawson

Lapidary Journal


2012 Jewelers Guide to Treated and Created Gems





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