Enameling on brass??

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LuniLadi wrote
on 14 Jan 2013 6:49 PM

I'm a beginning metalsmither and enameler (are those words? lol). I've been torch enameling on copper and then, today, read Tammy's post on loving brass. "And what to my wondering eyes did appear...."? Enamel on brass!!! I thought this couldn't be done...or that you needed special enamel to do it. Does anyone know or have experience with (torch) enameling on brass? I would appreciate hearing all about it.

Thanks for the listen....and help. I appreciate it!

Doreen aka LuniLadi

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TammyJones wrote
on 14 Jan 2013 7:15 PM

Hi Doreen! Thanks for commenting.

I've seen lots of people comment today that they didn't know they could enamel on brass. I'm happy to share any insight I can, but first I have to admit that I hadn't heard that, so I'm not sure how to begin. I'll just share that I've done it with both MAPP gas and propane torches, and almost all of the enamels I tried it with were from Barbara's site, Painting With Fire Studio, so I believe they are Thompson Enamels. Brass has a melting point in the 1700-1800 range, and propane is just a bit hotter at 1900, so if you stay in a cooler part of the flame and not overheat it, it won't melt. I'm not sure how I managed to not melt my brass in MAPP gas, which burns considerably hotter, but I didn't! I'm sure I kept it in a cooler part of the flame and not for such long periods of time--that had to help--but I'm still kind of surprised it didn't melt. I don't really recommend using MAPP gas torches to enamel on brass but the propane shouldn't cause trouble.

What have you heard about why you can't enamel on brass? Was it because of melting?

Thanks for being part of JMD!
Tammy

 

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LuniLadi wrote
on 15 Jan 2013 7:17 PM

Tammy,

I didn't think it had to do with the heat. I thought that it had to do with the zinc alloy...that the enamel wouldn't stick to it and that's why you couldn't enamel brass or nickel. You can enamel iron beads...no zinc. To be honest, I never even tried to enamel on brass!

I've used both propane and MAPP gas. I didn't think there was that much difference. I had to be more careful exactly where I placed the piece to be enameled...out of the "sweet" spot of the flame and into the too hot part and the results were "muddy". I've used both Barbara's and Thmpson's enamel...but not on brass!

So you just enameled the brass pieces like you do the copper?

I MUST try this.

Torch soldering metal components in my jewelry is my next metalsmithing step. Once I get that set up I'm going to try enameling brass. Thanks SO much for the lead!

Doreen aka LuniLadi


 

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