Painting with Fire Jewelry Making Techniques

(This tutorial was previously published in Mastering Torch-Fired Enamel Jewelry: The Next Steps in Painting with Fire by Barbara Lewis, copyright 2014. It is republished here courtesy of CreateMixedMedia.com and North Light Books.)

Sunflower of Provence

Sunflower final 500

A trip to Aix-en-Provence is definitely on my bucket list, but until I get there, this necklace is a worthy tribute! We’ll cover the end of the fabric cording with delicate enameled bead caps and draw a stylized sunflower using a sgraffito technique.

Materials

  • Enameling Tools
  • basic torch-fired enameling kit

Enamel

  • 1830 Marigold
  • 1860 Flame Orange
  • 1995 Black

Metalworking Tools

  • bead reamer or needle file
  • chain-nose pliers, 2
  • chasing hammer
  • hole punch
  • metal shears
  • rubber bench block
  • wire cutters
  • Other Materials and Findings
  • beads, Arabesque filigree, 20mm
  • beads, Pierced Temple filigree, 14mm
  • bead caps
  • clasp, ball-and-hitch
  • copper sheet, 24-gauge
  • cotton-filled cording, 12″ (30cm)
  • head pins
  • jump rings, 9mm
  • sifter

Click here to download a PDF to review the basics of torch-firing enamel jewelry from Barbara’s first book.

Sunflower step 1

1. Cut a 1 7⁄8″ × 1½” (48mm × 38mm) oval from a sheet of copper.

Sunflower step 2

2. Punch 2 holes near the top of the pendant.

Sunflower step 3

3. Hammer the piece so it is slightly domed.

Sunflower step 4

4. Enamel the pendant in 3 layers of Marigold enamel.

Sunflower step 5

5. While the piece is still hot, sift 1 layer of Flame Orange onto the surface. Fuse the enamel.

Sunflower step 6

6. Dredge the entire pendant in Black enamel. Do not fire. Cool the pendant slightly to allow the pendant to become stuck to the mandrel.

Sunflower step 7

7. The mandrel now becomes a handle by which you can turn the pendant. (You can also hold the pendant steady with pliers, if you prefer.) Using a bead reamer or needle file, scratch a sunflower design through the black enamel.

Sunflower step 8

8. Place the pendant back into the flame and heat it until glowing. Remove it from the mandrel.

Sunflower step 9

9. Enamel the bead caps in Flame Orange.

Sunflower step 10

10. Enamel 6 large beads and 2 small beads in Flame Orange.

Sunflower step 11

11. Thread the enamel beads onto head pins and create a simple loop at each end of the bead.

JEWELRY-MAKING TIP

Use stiff wire for simple loops and dead soft wire for wire wrapped loops.

Sunflower step 12

12. Link 3 large beads and 1 small bead together with jump rings. Repeat with the remaining beads so you have 2 chains each comprised of 4 beads.

Sunflower step 13

13. Pierce the end of the cotton-filled cording with a head pin. Fold the ends of the wire up and wrap the beaded end of the head pin around the wire.

Sunflower step 14

14. Thread the extending wire through the enameled bead cap. Place a faceted copper bead on the wire and create a simple loop. Repeat steps 13–14 with the other side of the necklace.

Sunflower step 15

15. Use a jump ring to join the fabric and beaded parts of the necklace. On 1 side, connect the fabric and beads with a jump ring, and on the other side, attach the ball-and-hitch clasp.

Sunflower step 16

16. Attach the focal piece to the beaded strands with jump rings.

(This tutorial was previously published in Mastering Torch-Fired Enamel Jewelry: The Next Steps in Painting with Fire by Barbara Lewis, copyright 2014. It is republished here courtesy of CreateMixedMedia.com and North Light Books.)

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