My Brown Wren

Jewelry and Mixed Media Art

Enamel and Etching (Basse Taille) - What a Fun Combo!

enamel jewelryTammi SloanComment

I’ve spent a lot of time these days just doodling, trying to get inspired. Like many artists, I have times when the ideas just aren’t flowing, but my doodles keep me creative. Lately, I’ve been thinking about ways to incorporate them into 2D art and my jewelry.

This week, I experimented with etching my drawings in copper. I was hoping to enamel over the etchings with opaque colors, but the etchings weren’t quite deep enough to accomplish what I had in mind. So, I pulled out the transparents and started playing.

Transparent enamels can be very tricky. I haven’t done much with them for that reason. It’s a whole other ball of wax. Firing temps and times are so different than opaques. I had some successes and some half successes. I wouldn’t call them total failures. I stuck with one color to see what I could come up with and adjusted time and temp with each attempt. I even pulled out the enamling Bible - The Art of Enameling by Linda Darty. With the info there, I now know that I need to fire lower and longer to prevent the edges from burning (though I like the look of it on the larger oval).

I want to set the large oval with a straight sided bezel with six tabs. I’m not sure yet what the bail will look like, but I want to incorporate a small green stone in it. It will likely hang on a snake chain for substance. Here are a few examples of my attempts at Basse Taille Enameling.

 Basse Taille Enamel - experiments by My Brown Wren

Basse Taille Enamel - experiments by My Brown Wren

These pieces were etched using electricity. If you are interested in learning to etch without acid, I have two tutorials available on my classes and tutorials page. The copper etching tutorial is a simple, step-by-step PDF that shows you how to etch copper, brass, bronze and nickel with salt water and electricity. My tutorial on how to etch silver is an hour long video with a backup PDF tutorial that goes through all the steps to etch silver without acid. It’s been a work in progress for a couple of years, but I finally got it done this summer. I’m just a little late in getting the word out…