This chapter discusses the ins and outs of the application of both regular (grain) enamel and liquid enamel. As painting enamels are considered a supplement, their application is discussed in the Supplements and Add-ons chapter. Regular enamel can be applied by a dry or wet applicaiton. The book discusses the traditional ways of sifting and wet packing. Judy Stone's project introduces a different way to apply wet enamel in a process she calls wet-floating, which requires a sifting of a hard clear enamel before firing.
Applying Enamel Using an Eye Dropper
The following has been brought to my attension: a video that shows an enamelist in China applying wet enamel using an eye dropper - very interesting.
Normally one would want to apply enamel to show the beauty of its color. However, Rebekah Laskin uses a special method to apply enamel in a light vale directly on copper so that it burns out, leaving a beautiful satainy surface, which can then be enameled over or left as is. She usually does this when thickly stenciling using a transparent enamel. To do this, first sift your transparent through your stencil using a 100 mesh sifter so that it is fairly thick, then sift a light transparent enamel using a 200 mesh sifter in a light vale over this. Fire at 1500°F until the stenciled transparent is fully fused and cleared of all underneath oxides. The back, without counter enamel, will normally produce Held Firescale (used in Steve Artz's Trouch Fired Enamel project), which although is also black, has a different feel to it than the burned out enamel. On sample is below and see another sample here.
in addition to sometimes working with burned out enamel (see above), Rebekah Laskin also frequently uses a sugar coat on each layer of her work in order to keep her images crisp. To do this, she will cover each layer with a light vale of Thompson 2020 clear through a 200 mesh sifter and fire at normal temperature until the image just starts coming through the vale. To see how light the vale is, see the above image with the negative heart stencil. Here is a finished piece in which Rebekah used this technique.
The Finishing chapter of the book discusses a Sugar Finish on any enamel. But this method uses the sugar fire on each and every layer!