This article Amy Roper Lyons offers two things: a Plique-a-Jour pictorial and three safety tips when handling or working with enamel.
1) Lyons has mixed her enamel powders with water and Klyr Fire (an adhesive), and they are now ready to apply to the earring.
2) After applying the first layer of enamel, Lyons places the earring into the kiln.
3) The earring after the first firing in the kiln. Plique-à-jour enameling is set into the metal framework in thin layers and then under fired until they just barely start to melt.
4) Lyons applies another layer of enamel to the earring. Plique-àjour projects can take anywhere between 4 to 10 firings, depending on the size of the piece for the openings to thoroughly fill with enamel.
5) After the final firing, all holes are filled and the enamel is fully fused, creating a stained glass effect.
Three Safety Tips
Enameling is a beautiful art, ut when you reak it right down, it comprises three dangerous aspects: tiny glass particles, harmful fumes, and infrared radiation. Amy Roper Lyons offers three quick tips to deal with each of these.
When working with dry enamel powders, take care to not create dust. “I prefer wet packing as there is no dust,” Lyons says. When working, wet-wipe countertops and wet-mop your shop floor instead of vacuuming, whixh raises dust. Always wear a respirator when sifting enamel. Never eat or drink in the work area.
When firing the enamel, either in a kiln or with a torch, make sure your work area has appropriate and efective ventilation.
When putting work into or taking work out of a hot kiln, wear welding glasses or similarly rated eye protextion to avoid eye damge from infrared radiation given off by the hot kiln.
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