Uuuuuggggg! Small set back- I did something ridiculous. Plique a jour enameling is beautiful because light basses through the enamel, and it glows. So using opaque enamel is a really, really terrible idea, and exactly what I accidentally did.
Yep. All that work washing and filling and firing the first round (it did fire beautifully though!), and in the end I had to remove all the enamel and start over.
Here they were hot out of the kiln (left) and as they cooled and the color showed (right). I held them up to the light to see their clairity and couldn’t understand why they were so dark! Turns out I have exactly one opaque Schauer enamel, and it’s the one I picked.
I’ve been taught that enamel is pretty fragile, but this experience has me questioning that a bit. To remove the enamel, my first though was to flatten the piece and re-dome it. Only a couple cells shattered, most didn’t.
I reheated them in the mild and dropped them into water: nothing. Nothing shattered.
I ended up using the very pointy end of a pair of dividers to crush the enamel in each cell before going back in with my saw blade and cleaning all the edges back up.
So ones step forward, three steps back. They’re all cleaned up now and re-filled with TRANSPARENT enamel this time- I triple checked!
This pair is slated for firing today, along with setting the stones on the ear stud.