Applicator for Crumbs (Enamel Lumps)

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Applicator for Crumbs (Enamel Lumps)

If you have worked with small lumps or tiny crumbs of enamel or glass to produce jewel effects, you know they can be troublesome - putting them exactly where you want them - especially in confined areas - is not always easy. The shaker tube shown here is designed to alleviate this difficulty.

small lumps

The tube is easily made by wrapping aluminum foil or 36 gauge copper around a pencil. The outlet at the bottom can be adjusted to any diameter you like. In use, the tube filled with the tiny crumbs of glass is placed close to the surface to be decorated and the contents allowed to flow out. The rate of flow can be controlled to a degree by pinching the thin-walled tube at the bottom. Tiny areas can easily be decorated; and, on larger areas, interesting patterns can be worked up. Control is easier and the pattern more spontaneous than it would be if you pushed the glass particles into place with a tool.

Regarding the particles, you can find many crumbs in the bottom of your lump enamel containers, or you can make your own by crushing glass and screening out the fine powders. - Peg Townsend, Tucson, AZ; Reprinted from Ceramics Monthly, March 1955.

Enamel Lumps

Enamel lumps can be broken into smaller pieces (and still not go flying around the room) if either of the following methods is used:

  1. Fold the chunks of enamel in thin scrap leather or in heavy canvas and then hit with a hammer.
  1. Place the lumps in the bottom of a small aluminum pie pan (of the type frozen pies come in) then place another pan on top. After gentle hammering you will find small lumps between the pans. - Peg Townsend, Tucson, AZ; Reprinted from Ceramics Monthly, August 1956.

Speck Remover

If specks of ash or firescale get into your copper enamel while sifting, you will find it is easy to remove them with a dampened toothpick or the moistened tip of a brush handle. When touched to the ash, either implement will pick it up quickly and easily. - Olive M. MacIver, Wellesley Hills, MA; Reprinted from Ceramics Monthly, May, 1956.

Make Tracing Paper

An ideal tracing paper can be made from the wax paper that you almost always have in your kitchen. Here is how you do it.

Tear off the desired length of wax paper from the roll, place in between two layers of newspaper and iron it with a rather hot iron. Allow it to cool then repeat the ironing a second time. That's all there is to it - you now have a very transparent tracing paper with plenty of 'bite'. - Mrs. D. N. Cook, Los Angeles, CA; Reprinted from Ceramics Monthly, May 1957

Counter Enameling Idea

Before sprinkling on the counter enamel, place a thumbtack, head down, on the spot where the finding is to be cemented. This will automatically give you a round bare spot for the finding.

The thumbtack is a handier idea than small, round pieces of paper. The point makes a perfect handle for picking up and removing the tack. - Mrs. Martin Hamm, Chillicothe, OH; Reprinted from Ceramics Monthly, June 1957

Foil Cutting for Enamels

Here is one way to facilitate cutting of tricky shapes in silver foil so that two in a pair are identical. Cut three sheets of tracing paper slightly larger than the two sheets of foil. Place the foil sheets between the three papers and bind all four sides with small pieces of masking tape. The shape to be cut is traced with pencil directly on the top sheet of paper and cut out with a small scissors in the usual manner.

This procedure not only insures against the foil's slipping, but makes the most economical use of the foil. Once bound, the sheets can be left in this fashion until used up. - George Faddis, New Castle, PA; Reprinted from Ceramics Monthly, May 1955.

[Volume 24, Number 4, August, 2005]
In association with
glass on metal
Glass on Metal is the only publication dedicated to enameling and related arts. Technical information, book reviews, how-to articles and insight on contemporary enamelers highlight each issue.

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