Each medium has its own vocabulary and so it is with enamels and enameling. The glass glaze material that is fused to the metal is enamel, the finished work is an enamel piece and the process is enameling. In other words, you enamel enamel with enamel.

An enamel is fired when it is placed in a hot kiln. An electric kiln (oven furnace) is usually used to fuse a coat (laver) of enamel to the metal. The pyrometer with the kilin shows the temperature inside the kiln in Fahrenheit (F) or in Centigrade (C). The inside of the kiln is called a muffle or chamber. The support for transporting the enamel piece in and out of the kiln is a planche (firing rack). Tile tool for lifting the planche is usually a fork. A trivet or a hammock supports all enamel piece by its edges. A stilt Supports a piece on points in the kiln.

The first layer of enamel on the front and back is a base coat. An underfired coat is at the orange peel stage. The glossy stage is at maturity. Flash firing or healthy firing is a short, hot firing to quickly, gloss the enamel. The size of the enamel grains is the mesh. 80 mesh, which is the standard, means that it will sift through a screen that has 80 holes per linear inch. The fines are what sifts through after the enamel is sifted through a 325 mesh screen. The enamel material is formulated for firing soft, medium or hard, which refers to the softening point of the enamel. The hardest enamels take the longest to fire to maturity. Methods of applying enamel include sifting, spraying, wet packing (inlaying) and Indian sand painting.

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To gum the piece means to apply an adhesive either to the metal or to the enamel. To anneal the metal means to heat it Just to the softening point. Flux is the colorless, transparent enamel. However, to a jeweler It is a firescale inhibitor that prevents oxidation in soldering. Transparent enamels look differently unfired from when they arc fired. The flux, fired on copper, has a golden look. Unfired it looks white, and over a fired enamel it is colorless. New students used to call it “the white stuff”, but it is not ill Our Vocabulary.