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Torch-Fired Enamel Jewelry: A Workshop in Painting with Fire Paperback – August 31, 2011
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Featured Project by Barbara Lewis: 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.
- 1⁄4" × 7" (6mm × 17.78cm) foam tube
- 1⁄4 yard (0.23m)
- woven fabric
- 19-gauge annealed steel wire
- 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
- Clover, opaque (1715)
- Lime yellow, transparent (2230)
- Pumpkin, opaque (1850)
- Turquoise, transparent (2435)
- White, opaque (1055)
- Chain-nose pliers
- Iron and ironing board or mat
- Round-nose pliers
- 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.
- 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.
- Measure and mark 1" (2.54cm) from the cut edge along the length of the fabric. Cut a 15" (38.1cm) bias strip.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
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.Read more ›
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 :)
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Short book,good pointers, a bit disappointed tech really seems to be best with smaller objects and beads, still recommend bookPublished 21 days ago by Tammy
Great information! Makes torch enameling look do-able, and pretty simple!Published 5 months ago by Kindle Customer