Enameling on Hadar’s Clay™

My student Hayley Tsang and I prepared a few copper clay pieces for enameling, and I sent them to Thompson Enamel for testing. The assessment arrived today.

Bill Helwig, who tested the pieces, says that Hadar’s Clay™ can be enameled. Here is a piece he enameled. The piece was made by Hayley.

Mr. Helwig also explained why certain pieces that we sent were not likely to yield good results. The explanation is very detailed and professional so I won’t present it here. However, he offered some good advice that I would like to share with you. I would like to thank Mr. Helwig for taking the time to discuss this at such length and in such detail.

1. Metal clay is porous. The material should not be exposed to liquids.

2. Find ways to reduce porosity. Work the surface of the metal so that it is highly compressed, e.g., burnish, chase, planish, engrave, or tumble with steel needles. This will greatly improve the clarity of transparent enamel provided that the enamel was properly prepared and applied.

3. When designing a piece to be enameled:

a. The metal should be of uniform thickness
b. It should have an edge to stop the enamel
c. Depressed areas should be between 0.3 and 0.4 mm, nothing deeper
d. No undercuts

4. If the surface condition is not improved as described in #2 above, transparent enamel will never look very good, so use opaques or gold and silver foil.

These are pieces I played with. I told you I was no enameller!


20 Responses to “Enameling on Hadar’s Clay™”

  • Sandra Says:

    I think your pieces look pretty good, I love the blue one best, only because blues and greens are my favorite colors.

  • Sylvanye "Sam" Roh Says:

    Yes, Hadar I agree with Sandra your pieces look very good and the blue & green one is my favorite also.

  • Vickie Hallmark Says:

    Good to know! I’ve been doing a lot of enameling on silver clay and have your copper clay sitting here ready to try.

  • Ann Davis Says:

    Hadar, you are amazing!! I can’t wait to try it!! You don’t ever sleep do you!!!hahahah :)-ann

  • Lydia from Quebec Says:

    Well, I have to agree with Sandra and Sylvanye.
    I think your pieces look very good too, I like them both! The blue and the green one is very nice.

  • Sadie Cuming Says:

    I have tried enameling on the copper clay – the enamel sticks – a good thing, but I have not had any luck with transparent enamels which fire to cloudy – the colors remain but not the texture of the base layer that is so important in many enameling techniques.

  • Lynne Glazzard Says:

    I did try enamelling on it a few weeks ago as soon as my copper arrived and was quite pleased with my first attempt. It was the reason I was interested to try it and I had probably done as Mr Helwig suggested as that is what I do with art clay silver. I haven’t had another chance to try it though so this is good, thanks for the info.

  • Carol Gregory Says:

    Great news Hadar, your pieces do look good, another good reason to get the copper mixed up and fired! Will be great to learn more when you’re here in Melbourne

  • penny Says:

    i am thrilled with your results, i was trilled with my results too, and i need to put away my distractions, and get back to enameling your copper clay

  • Linda Chandler Says:

    Both pieces look great to me. I do like blue green more though.
    I had never thought of enameling on copper clay and it can be done
    with a torch also, what a nice surprise.

  • Lynda Says:

    I think these pieces are terrific!!! What exciting possibilities!!

  • Laura Says:

    Beautiful work and great news! I have to stray from the pack, though, and say that I think the tube bead with the opaque enamel is outstanding.

  • shar Says:

    Beautiful work.

    Will Bronze clay work with enamel as well?

    Thank you !

  • Hadar Jacobson Says:

    Shar. Yes it will!

  • Robbie Says:

    Have you tried enameling on steel xt? I am just starting and am using the steel xt. I know it is dark, but I wonder what enamel would do.

  • Hadar Jacobson Says:

    Robbie, It can be enameled. I a not an enameling my self but my students do it with great success.

  • Jelena Says:

    Hadar
    Can your metal clay be enameled with a torch(torch techniques)
    And can I do enameling in the same kiln that I use for firing your clay?I’m a beginner,and because I want to do both,and I have only one kiln ,I’m interested if kiln is going to be contaminated after firing your metal clay,and not usable for enameling?Thank you, I hope you can help me.

  • Hadar Jacobson Says:

    Jelena, You can enamel my metal clay both with a torch and in a kiln. The clay does not cause any contamination to the kiln.

  • Shawnell Says:

    What type of enamels work with your bronze?
    I haven’t tried enameling yet but would love to try. One Web site I went to to buy enamel said it would not work with bronze so I’m pretty sure there are different types. ??
    Thank you!

  • Hadar Jacobson Says:

    Thompson enamels have been successfully tried with my clays.

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