Monday, September 28, 2015

Barbara Lewis' Torch Fired Enameling Class Giveaway

By on Monday, September 28, 2015 56 Comments

Vitreous enameling is a truly gorgeous way of adding color to metal. See some amazing examples in this past post. This decorative technique is very old and was used by many ancient cultures in the different parts of the world. It is still in use today. Torch firing is often used to fuse the  powdered glass the metal at high heat.


Many enamel artists use laboratory tripods to hold the metal during firing as shown in this resource page over on Fire Mountain Gems. This type of setup does strike me as somewhat awkward as one cannot properly aim the "sweet spot" or hottest part of the flame on the underside of the piece.

Barbara Lewis's Craftsy class, Torch-Fired Enameling: The Immersion Method, which I received for review, simplifies the whole process. She eliminates the need for the laboratory tripod and makes it much easier, quicker and safer for beginners and more seasoned artists alike.  The immersion method refers to the dipping of the heated metal into a container of powdered glass - so much more straightforward than having to to sprinkle it on the piece.

She calls torch fired enameling painting with fire! Adding glass to metal on both sides also strengthens the metal besides adding beautiful colors.

Barbara is a trained ceramics artist and some years ago, she saw how much torch fired enameling reminded her of her kiln fired pottery.  She became interested. And the rest is history.

Her class is divided into 7 lessons with a total run time of 2 hours and about 20 minutes..As with all Craftsy classes, the format is such students can watch the class when and where they want and as many times as necessary to learn a technique.  You will be able to ask Barbara any question.

Lesson 1 covers the different types of enamel used and explains their uses. She also talks about the types of metal which can be used including iron which is not a common jewelry metal.

Barbara also demonstrates how she clamps and lights her air-acetylene torch (typically used by plumbers) to the bench. The securing of the torch makes working with the flame much safer as it is stationary and not likely to get knocked over.  Both hands are free to do the enameling.

There is also a great photo of her teaching studio at the beginning. It  has individual venting tubes at each student station!


There was just one regret about the introduction - I wish Barbara had shown more of her own lovely work as inspirational examples.  But you can check out her website here!

Lesson 2 demonstrates her clever immersion method where an iron round bead is heated until red hot and then repeatedly dipped into the enamel powder. This excellent instructor carefully goes over what to do and not to do. She teaches how to blend transparent colors and to make multi colored beads. And also how to get the bead safely off the mandrel!




Lesson 3 continues with the basics where she shows the way to enamel a steel wire coil.  This is a demonstration on how to enamel in sections. She also explains very well why and how to do flame annealing. In wire work we apply heat to anneal wire so it becomes softer.  But with enameling, flame annealing is used for controlled cooling or heating up so no thermal shock occurs to the glass causing it to crack.

With the basics in hand, Lesson 4 starts the student along the road to really painting with fire as she covers how to enamel copper, the most commonly used metal. The process has a touch of serendipity about it but the results are fabulous!  Here is where one gets creative with coarser enamels and enamel threads. Barbara shows how to enamel a copper bead, a disc and how to make little enamel headpins!



Lesson 5 covers the tricky issue of how to enamel brass.  Barbara shares her tips and tricks to make it work. This is a useful lesson as this opens up all sorts of possibilities with the innumerable brass stampings out there.



Lesson 6 was my favorite lesson as this covered the creative potential of enameling.  Barbara shows how liquid enamel can be used like paint.  She also demonstrates the sgraffito technique where the dried liquid enamel is "scratched" away to reveal the bare metal below.  When fired, the uncovered copper will turn into lovely colors.


In Lesson 7, Barbara shows how decals can be applied to pre-enameled pieces and how a clear enamel coat can be applied on top for final protection.



The whole class came across as one which makes the enameling process fun and more importantly, doable for the beginner. If you love the look of enameled jewelry, this is a great place to get started. It is not hard at all and requires just a few basic tools.

Barbara's book : Torch-Fired Enamel Jewelry: A Workshop in Painting with Fire


Giveaway
If you would like to win Barbara Lewis' class on Torch-Fired Enameling: The Immersion Method please make a comment below. Make sure you leave contact info below if you do not have an online shop or blog.

Email subscribers need to scroll down the post they receive, click on Share Comment and enter your comment. Pick Name/URL. If you don't have a store or blog, leave the URL blank.

This giveaway is international.

Extra entries if you become or are a blog subscriber or follower etc. If you also do shout outs about this giveaway, those will count as additional entries too! Please say so in the comments.

It ends in a week's time at 6 pm EST Monday, October 5, 2015 . I will pick the winner randomly and announce the results as soon as possible after. So be sure to leave a contact email if you don't have an online link or make sure you come back and check! Otherwise I will redraw in a week. Good luck!

Disclosure
I am now a Craftsy affiliate which means I receive a small compensation when classes are purchased through my blog.  The opinions expressed here are entirely mine and mine alone.  These would be the same, whether or not I receive the compensation.  The book link is an Amazon affiliate link.

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56 comments:

  1. Ooh would just love to learn more about how to use a torch better and with enamelling to enhance metal pieces...! Am a subscriber and blog follower, can be contacted via retro-grrl@hotmail.com.

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  2. I would love to learn this technique! I have Barbara's book on torch fired enamaling and it is awesome. I am a subscriber.

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  3. A little intimidated by this, but nothing like learning to take care of that! Beautiful pieces!
    Donna J
    datmine2009@hotmail.com

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  4. Mmmm.,,,colour, glorious colour! I'd love to win the workshop!

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  5. Would love to win this...Thanks for the opportunity!

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  6. I haven't been able to get the hang of enamelling yet and would love to win this. deniseosborne62@gmail.com

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  7. I'd love to win this class, I just bought a bunch of enamel so could put it to use right away.
    craftyd3 at yahoo dot com

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  8. This post makes me go - "I want! I want! I want it!!" like an adamant kid in a candy store. I have been eyeing Barbara's book for a while now, but a class will be so much better. Please pick me, Pretty please :)

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  9. PS: I follow you on GFC, facebook, twitter and have given a shout out on FB n tagged you in the post instead of spamming you here

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  10. I love to learn new techniques. And this one sound really interesting

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  11. This sounds like great fun!!
    Carol
    Designingit.etsy.com

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  12. This sounds so interesting would love to try it. THank you for the opportunity to win the class.
    Stephanie
    steph.pierret@embarqmail.com

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  13. Would love love love to win this! grinchswoman@hotmail.com

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  14. I do basic immersion enameling. I would love to expand my skills and learn more techniques. This is a great contest thank you. I have her book but video would be more helpful

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  15. I would just love to win this giveaway. I love the effects Barbara achieves without a kiln. Now to learn that she fixes her torch to her bench and dips the piece into the glass makes it all that much easier to manage the materials. Safer, too, I imagine. Thanks for the chance to win this class.

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  16. Sorry I forgot me email....bheald@tds.net

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  17. I would love to win this class. I have all the parts -- enamels, tools, torch, Barbara's book, and lots of things that would look spectacular with a pop of enamel. I just need someone to lead me through the steps. jenbungert@aol.com

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  18. This looks like the perfect video to learn how to enamel. Thanks for the chance to win!
    ppd6870@gmail.com

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  19. Another great technique to learn, thank you Pearl. Blog follower, zoowatcher10@yahoo.com.

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  20. This class looks very exciting and I would love to win it!!! Learning to use the torch and building skills is my next goal and this class would be a great way to build my skills and my business.

    I love all the chances to win you provide as well as the informative descriptions, Thank you so much

    Subscriber

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  21. On my wishlist since it came out. Okay, to be honest, anything on Craftsy's site that deals with any type of metal work, or torches, has been in my wishlist since they come out. Okay, so basically yeah, I need this class. It is a dream class for me. Thanks, Pearl as always for the giveaways. And for the awesome information, tutorials, and news you provide on your site and in your newsletters.

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  22. I liked this post from the link above and commented with it on Facebook.

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  23. This would be an awesome addition to my Craftsy Library!

    Swillert@new.rr.com

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  24. Pat Buchanan Pbuchannan@aol.comSeptember 28, 2015 at 12:30 PM

    Whoa....this sounds really interesting. I'd like to see more.
    Pbuchannan@aol.com

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  25. I would love to do her classes. I truly love torch enamel. e.l.k@frontier.com

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  26. Would love to add this to my bag of jewelry tools and design. Thanks again Pearl!
    ginhuntoon@comcast.net

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  27. While I empirically used many of her techniques (after reading her books and many other resources), I would love to actually see her class. Thank you for the opportunity!

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  28. Every time I go to my jewelry supply store I stand and drool over all the lovely colours of enameling powder they have to offer. I do have the little tripod and mesh but I've not used it yet for anything. Just learning how to clamp your torch to the bench would change the way I work with my torch for everything!
    Enameling is on my list and I think about learning it at least a couple of times a month as the colours and possibilities are so endless! I've seen so many beautiful designs, beads, bracelets, necklaces - all enameled and I just sigh.....
    Having your take on what is in the course is extremely valuable to me. I look at a lot of courses and you can't tell what you are going to really get out of them - so having you do a breakdown on the steps and courses offered is always what tips my hand to click on the 'buy this course' button. Thank you!!
    Chuck my name in there my friend. I'll give the wheel of chance a spin before I do click on the button! :0)

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  29. enameling is something I've wanted to know more about. Thanks for the great review, Pearl!

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  30. Hi Pearl I would love to win this as I have hundreds of ideas to use it with - www.beadbugs.co.nz - thanks heaps

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  31. I would love to win her class and learn how to torch enamel.

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  32. Just tweeted about the post and giveaway.

    https://twitter.com/kayzkreationz/status/648608277291405312

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  33. I'm intrigued by this work and would love to learn from a master. Fingers crossed!
    Rainey88@aol.com

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  34. This sounds like a wonderful class with a new technique. I would love to win this class!!
    kathy@beadify.com

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  35. I can remember making torch fired cuff links when I was in art class in high school. I would love to try doing this again.

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  36. What beautiful work! I tried this at summer camp many years ago and loved it. I would love to do it again and this class is just what I need.

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  37. Hi Pearl,

    Thanks for the chance to win - this looks like a fabulous workshop

    Cheers

    victoria_farrell at hotmail.com

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  38. Enameling is a technique that intrigues and scares me a little but I love enameled beads. They look great! And to make them would be awesome!

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  39. Just tweeted again about this class. Really want to learn more about her torch enameling.
    https://twitter.com/kayzkreationz/status/648845984596824065

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  40. Very interesting technique but it seems a little scary for a beginner jewelry maker like me! I've been receiving email posts and really enjoying the exposure to new things. Thanks for a chance to win a course. rochelleth@hvc.rr.com

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  41. Thanks for the review. This seems like a really interesting class. I have used a torch before but not for enamiling. I would love to try this class. Thanks again. (Kateyhbf@gmail.com)

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  42. Chuck
    I enameled in college so this would be great!
    A Mac addict at Mac dot com

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  43. Tweeted again about the post and class. Love this.

    https://twitter.com/kayzkreationz/status/649318998551629824

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  44. Hi! I would like to participate in this giveaway. I am a follower on FB, twitter and e-mail subscriber. Already shared this post.
    Thanks!
    Tania Loyo. telejota@gmail.com

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  45. Not sure it posted, but just tweeted again.
    https://mobile.twitter.com/kayzkreationz/status/650322589257105409

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  46. Never done torch enamel, and haven't done any other kind since I was a kid! These days, I'm getting my creativity on, so yay! I'm a follower via RSS, dos that count? :)

    Robin
    robininseoul@gmail.com

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    Replies
    1. Yes, Robin. An RSS subscription does count!

      Delete
  47. You should have just received another affiliate sale! I just bought the craftsy tutorial. Thanks so much for this blog post, I would never have found the tutorial otherwise! It is the only one I can find on decals and vitreous enamel jewellery. Very happy! :)

    ReplyDelete

 

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