My son took this short video of me in my (embarrassingly messy!) studio a few days ago so I could show you part of what is involved in the enamel work that I’ve been doing. Metal beads are placed on a stainless steel mandrel and then held in a flame until they are glowing red, once red each bead is dipped into enamel powder at least 3 times and reheated after every coating. The beads are moved from the mandrel into a cooling “station” of vermiculite. The method of enameling that I do is called Torch-fired enamel and I learned this technique a few years ago under the instruction of Barbara Lewis. I signed up for the class upon the suggestion of a fellow beader at BeadFest in Philadelphia and have been experimenting with color and flame and metal beads ever since. The flowers across the website banner are torch-fired enamel using vintage jewelry components and have been a really popular design…that is until I ran out of a few of the pieces and haven’t been able to find more!
Here are a few more samples of my torch-fired enamel beads.