Today was the last day of my enameling class -- at least until it resumes in early October. Still, that's months from now and I'm feeling a little down. I've really enjoyed the class this year and wish the Y offered a full summer semester. The teachers do need a break, though, and I'll be ready and waiting when the fall comes!
I didn't get to do much during this last class. I mainly worked on my champleve heart earrings. The pair of red earrings turned out well, but the turquoise ones are a mess. I stoned the enamel to flatten it out so that it would be flush with the metal, but the enamel cracked, so I re-fired it. The enamel then cracked. I added another coat of enamel to each heart to even them out... and the glass cracked even more. My poor hearts are broken! My teacher said that I can stone off the enamel and start over, but I don't know if I'll bother. I might just start the entire project over with deeper inlaid hearts. At least I succeeded in making one successful pair.
Meantime, I began my next project, which is going to be a very deep frame lined with silver foil. I'll then add cloisonne wire and fill it in with transparent enamels. I used 16 gauge metal for this and let the acid burn a nice, deep groove. It's so deep, in fact, that one of the ladies in the class thought that I'd soldered two pieces of metal together. Nope. I just let it sit in the acid for several hours.
I'm thinking of purchasing my own kiln. I'd like to continue my work this summer and this would give me plenty of time to practice. I just have to figure out where to put the kiln so that it's safe to use. But I'm beginning to make higher-end pieces and I don't want to lose my momentum.