Book Review – Beginner’s Guide to Enamelling


The book is based on a workshop for beginners given by the author some years ago called 'The Second Coat'. The publisher limited the book to 64 pages and wanted step-by-step projects. Since the book is about enameling and not metal working, the publisher also insisted on projects with pre-cut or pre-formed copper. Of course, there is no reason readers cannot cut and fabricate their own metal shapes, or use silver instead of copper for most of the projects.

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By Woodrow W. CarpenterMore from this author

If asked to recommend a book for a beginner - recommend this one, Dorothy Cockrell's "Beginner's Guide to Enamelling"! The highly skilled professional may also find interesting change-of-pace items for those occasions when they wish to make an affordable gift.


Beginner's Guide to Enamelling
By Dorothy Cockrell64 fullcolor pages, 8″ x 10″, soft cover.
Release data : 30 December, 2004

About the Book

The book is based on a workshop for beginners given by the author some years ago called 'The Second Coat'. The publisher limited the book to 64 pages and wanted step-by-step projects. Since the book is about enameling and not metal working, the publisher also insisted on projects with pre-cut or pre-formed copper. Of course, there is no reason readers cannot cut and fabricate their own metal shapes, or use silver instead of copper for most of the projects.

The preliminaries were held to a minimum. One page of introduction, four pages about materials, tools, and equipment, one about safety, one about colors, one about firing, and the ninth page of text starts a stepby-step project. This is a pendant using a pre-cut copper shape and a simple stencil technique. This is followed with fifteen more step-by-step projects. From drawing in sifted enamel, rubber stamps, sgraffito and liquid enamels, crazy paving, gold and silver foil and leaf to raku and silver lustre. The final pages are about firing beads, troubleshooting, and a one-page index.

Occasionally, good work by other enamelers is shown. These works were selected to be only a little advanced beyond the similar step-by-step project being described. This was intentional in order to encourage rather than discourage the beginner.

Dorothy has succeeded in her goal to write a very instructive book for the average beginner. She has used procedures within their grasp, while stimulating their interest, rather than driving them away with procedures and examples that most would not be able to master in a reasonable time.

This book would be a fine addition to the library of all who are interested in the art of enameling.

By Woodrow W. Carpenter
© Glass On Metal - Vol. 24, No. 1, February 2005
In association
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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Woodrow W. Carpenter

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