I've been wanting to add a little color to my jewelry for some time, but just wasn't sure how I wanted to do it. I'm not really into super-shiny, colorful gemstones or beads, I do like some handblown glasswork, but it doesn't "fit" into my jewelry style that well.
I did occasionally see some wonderful, earthy colors incorporated into some jewelry. I loved it. It was perfect. It was enameling... Enameling is gorgeous, but a big production, kilns, and equipment, and lots of things I'd have to buy, hmmm... not something that I was ready for. Then, by chance, I came across a class called Painting with Fire! Isn't that an awesome name?!
Painting with fire is applying enamels to metal, but in a much simpler process for those of us who want to use enamel as accents and smaller applications and don't want to buy a ton of new equipment. Basically you need a very hot soldering torch (which I have) and some enamel powders. Easy. --Woo-Hooo, looks like I'm gettin' me some color! :D
I took an all day class this last weekend and it was awesome. It was taught by a lady named Barbara Lewis, who has beautiful enameled jewelry of her own, and I learned a lot! The room had about 15 people in it all working with torches at the same time, so it got Wicked hot, but nobody really cared (just an occasional complaint to your neighbor about being really hot :) because we were really cranking out some enameled beads. 50 of them, along with a few flat copper tabs for charms or pendants. Yay! They were beautiful! Well, the last half of the beads I made were beautiful... the first half was a bit of a mess, luckily my learning curve was pretty sharp.
Anyway, I'll post a pic of the beads and things I made at the class and then later some of the jewelry that I make including enameling. I really want to try some enameled rings and bangles.
I can't wait :D