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Torch-Fired Enamel Jewelry: A Workshop in Painting with Fire Paperback – August 31, 2011


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Torch-Fired Enamel Jewelry: A Workshop in Painting with Fire + The Art of Enameling: Techniques, Projects, Inspiration + Enameling Made Easy: Torch-Firing Workshop for Beginners & Beyond
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: North Light Books (August 31, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1440308861
  • ISBN-13: 978-1440308864
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 0.4 x 10.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (266 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #37,821 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Featured Project by Barbara Lewis: Harem Bracelet

Harem Bracelet

I can't decide if this is a bracelet or an anklet. It can only be an anklet if you're willing to break out into dance when you wear it! Whatever you decide, this piece is fun and easy to make. It's perfect for the hodgepodge of leftovers on your worktable--a "bench collection" of sorts. Don't dwell on planning your design; if you go with the flow, it will truly reflect you and your work.

Findings
  • 1⁄4" × 7" (6mm × 17.78cm) foam tube
  • 1⁄4 yard (0.23m)
  • woven fabric
  • 19-gauge annealed steel wire
  • 22-gauge
  • sterling wire
  • assorted manufactured beads and flower bead caps
  • eight 11mm solid jump rings
  • four 12mm corrugated iron beads
  • one copper-plated lobster clasp
  • ribbon and fiber strands
  • two 17mm iron flower bead caps
Enamels
  • Clover, opaque (1715)
  • Lime yellow, transparent (2230)
  • Pumpkin, opaque (1850)
  • Turquoise, transparent (2435)
  • White, opaque (1055)
Tools
  • Chain-nose pliers
  • Iron and ironing board or mat
  • Round-nose pliers
  • Scissors
  • Spray adhesive
  • Wire cutters

Preparing Fabric for Cutting Bias Strips

Establish the straight of grain: Use scissors to place a snip into the selvedge edge of woven fabric, about 1" (2.54cm) from the cut edge. (The selvedge edges are the two finished edges of the fabric as it comes from the factory.) Tear the fabric at the snip.

Establish the bias grain: Place the fabric on a flat surface. Pick up one corner of the fabric and bring the end diagonally across the fabric so that one torn edge of the fabric will rest on top of one selvedge edge of the fabric. Press the fold with an iron.

Instructions
  1. Use the directions at left to establish the straight of grain and the bias grain for 1/4 yard (0.23m) of woven fabric. Cut through the ironed fold in the fabric.  
  2. Measure and mark 1" (2.54cm) from the cut edge along the length of the fabric. Cut a 15" (38.1cm) bias strip.
  3. Spray adhesive on a 1⁄4" × 7" (6mm × 17.78cm) piece of foam tubing. Starting at one end and working across, wrap the bias strip around the foam.
  4. Enamel four 12mm corrugated beads: one in white with lime yellow on top, one in white with turquoise on top, one in pumpkin and one in clover. Enamel two 17mm flower bead caps in pumpkin and clover.
  5. Thread a 4" (10.16cm) segment of 22-gauge sterling silver wire through a solid jump ring and make a wrapped loop. Thread a bead cap, an enamel bead and another bead cap onto the wire.
  6. Make a wrapped loop flush against the bead cap, but before finishing it, attach a small rhinestone dangle link. Wrap the loop with the excess wire. Create six dangles. You can choose to add different enamel and manufactured findings to the dangles as desired. Go wild!
  7. Wrap a bundle of ribbon and fiber strands around the tubing, starting 1" (2.54cm) from the end. Tie the ends in overhand knots to secure.
  8. Slide a dangle onto the bracelet. Wrap another ribbon and fiber bundle after the first dangle to keep it from sliding on the bracelet. Continue sliding on dangles and wrapping bundles on the bracelet, stopping 1" (2.54cm) from the end and ending with a ribbon and fiber bundle.  
  9. Pierce the end of the foam bracelet with 3" (7.62cm) of 19-gauge annealed steel wire. Fold the ends up, keeping one end longer than the other. Wrap the shorter wire end around the longer wire end.
  10. Thread an enamel bead cap onto the wire. Trim the excess wire and make a simple loop flush against the bead cap. Attach an 11mm solid jump ring to the loop.
  11. Repeat Steps 8 and 9 on the other side of the bracelet, but attach a lobster clasp before closing the simple loop.

From the Author

I am so proud of the work I did for this book!  The "immersion" technique of torch-firing is groundbreaking!  Can you imagine enameling a bead in 40 seconds instead of 40 minutes?  How about enameling pendants in the same amount of time, but also embedding watch gears and millefiori wafers while the pendant is still on the mandrel.  Easy, quick, and extremely affordable! No $500 kilns required.  For about $100 you'll have the torch, the bead pulling station (the workhorse of the system), several enamels, copper pieces and metal beads, mandrels, clamps ... everything you need for a beginning enamel studio.

Besides the enameling part, you'll learn how to make a no-solder bezel and a rivet that requires no hammer!  There's some cool fold-forming and metalworking projects that use simple tools ... a pair of metal snips, a two-hole punch, and a hammer.  It doesn't get more basic than that but wait 'til you see the jewelry you can create!  Welcome to my world!  I hope you'll join me here.  If you want to check out the torch-fired enamel scene, please join me at paintingwithfire.ning.com, where it's all about torch-firing. Also, please check out the website for my book:  torchfiredenameljewelry.com.  :-)  Barbara

More About the Author

Barbara Lewis, born in Washington, D.C., graduated from The George Washington University with a degree in Fine Arts. She applies her understanding of firing gas kilns to firing her gas torch. The over-firing of white enamel on copper has become her trademark. "The oxides from the metal break through the surface of the white enamel and can give beautiful green speckles with pink hazes and rusty brown patches," states Barbara.

She and her family own and operate Painting with Fire Studio (PWF), an enamel and metal arts learning center at 2428 Central Avenue, St. Petersburg, Florida. As Thompson Enamel distributors, they're surrounded by over 100 enamels and share, with their customers, the special color blends created by the PWF Team.

Her first book, "Torch-Fired Enamel Jewelry: a Workshop in Painting with Fire" named Best Craft Book of 2011 at Amazon. "Mastering Torch-Fired Enamel Jewelry: the Next Steps in Painting with Fire" continues the tradition of exploring the potential of a simple and affordable torch for creating outstanding artwork.



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Customer Reviews

I pre-ordered this book in May and it was worth the wait!
Jennifer
Torch firing enamel is an exciting process, and with this book Barbara Lewis is a great teacher of it.
Cathie Caroll
The pictures are beautifully done, and her instructions are clear and easy to understand.
Nan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

71 of 72 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer on August 22, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I pre-ordered this book in May and it was worth the wait!

The book is divided into 2 main sections. The first section is dedicated to technique and technical aspects of torch fired enamel jewelry. The second section is dedicated to projects, but also includes several additional techniques not included in the 1st section.

Information included in the tech section starts with a brief history of this particular enameling technique. The first technical aspect you learn about is what types of metal are appropriate for enameling, what colors to start out with (because there are SO MANY COLOR CHOICES!), how the colors interact with each other, appropriate method for using transparent vs. opaque, using the torch flame to advantage. That is just the beginning.

Barbara Lewis also covers how to set up a proper workspace and the few tools you will need (not many at ALL!) and the most important tool, the torch. This technique does not require an expensive torch or an elaborate set-up. I will give you a little hint...the Fireworks torch can be purchased at Hobby Lobby. Use a 40% coupon and get it for a GREAT price.

Included in the info about tools is a box titled Drill Bits Demystified which is incredibly helpful when trying to order bits or deciding which size you need to use for which size wire.

There are two pages of how to torch fire beads with large clear photos and step by step instructions with tips sprinkled about to help you achieve success. The two pages after that include how to torch fire pendants and charms, safety, enameling tips, and a FULL page dedicated to troubleshooting.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By desertyoginidakini on August 23, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I rarely write reviews, but this book impressed me so much, I just had to give it a shout out. If you are debating about purchasing this book, dither no longer, buy it. Very well written, excellent step by step instructions with clear photos. Each project includes an extensive materials list, including tools needed for the project. In addition to the enameling technique instructions, this book also contains lots of tips for working with metal, from etching to forming. I'm pleased to report that I picked up a few tricks just by flipping through it on the first read. Lots of cool jewelry to look at to. Inspired me to try my hand at enameling.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Nan on August 14, 2011
Format: Paperback
Hot and I do mean hot! A sizzling book that leaves nothing to the imagination about the immersion version of enameling .Barbara Lewis has set the pages on fire with the techniques of firing enamels with a torch. She has refined and redefined for all of us who have been afraid to pick up a torch and light it, much less make beautiful beads and pendants.
You will be entranced by the technique filled pages that are filled with steps from basic color combinations to "just where to put the cat whiskers".
The pictures are beautifully done, and her instructions are clear and easy to understand. It makes you want to run out and buy some enamels and begin right NOW, but wait! Read the book , first.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Kathy Combs on August 21, 2011
Format: Paperback
I spent the entire day with Barbara Lewis's new book yesterday. I'd read a while, work on a new technique in the studio, read, work. Barbara is a master at delivering clear, concise, step-by-step instructions on the art of torch fired enameling. The projects in the book are truly inspiring and easy to follow even for beginners. Every page is packed with technique and tips that not only teach but also inspire your own creative energies. Barbara is truly a master artist and teacher. I hope to one day be able to take a class from her, but until then, this book is the next best thing. A must have for all jewelry artists!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By jojobean on November 23, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I wanted to learn to enamel beads with a torch as I didn't have an enameling kilm. I'm so glad I read the reviews and bought the book. It took the mystery out of the process and I find it a lot easier to use a torch than a kiln.
If your the least bit interested buy the book, you'll be very glad you did. Check out her website too as this will give you access to the author herself :)
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Robert D. Charlton on October 8, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I will be straight up from the get go, I am writing my review because I was made aware of some VERY negative reviews on this book that had little to do with the book itself, but were more a character attack on the author. I almost never write reviews because I am too busy doing artistic, creative things with my life to bother with spending my time writing about my opinions online. My husband and I have bought dozens and dozens of books from Amazon over the years, but I don't think either of us has ever left a review, until now!

I became aware of Barbara Lewis in 2011. I joined her Ning group before I ever bought her book because I was so intrigued by the technique she was teaching. After discovering I could use the equipment I already had as a lampwork bead maker, I was extremely excited to get her book and try this technique. I have years of experience working with a torch and glass and found her technique to be fairly user friendly, but not without a learning curve. I believe anything worth doing is worth putting effort in and if it's SO easy that it takes NO effort at all, it's not likely to be something I would want to keep doing. I make and sell my own jewelry designs, so I like using techniques that are interesting and exciting, but not the kind of thing you can run down to Micheal's and pick up all the supplies for and make in a weekend. I like true art. That which takes time to perfect, but is fairly accessible from the start. I believe what Barbara teaches is just that. You can be successful on your first bead, but it does take time to learn how to master all the subtle nuances of enamels.

I think Barbara does a wonderful job of explaining the basic technique in this book and then builds upon it in the projects in the book.
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