I finally made it to the store to get a new pickle pot so that I could complete my mermaid cloisonné pendant. For the beginning pictures of this project, see the post prior to this one. It shows the white enameled base with the wires initially set. Tonight I got to paint her. Actually it’s more like wet packing sand than painting really. I mix the enamels with water and use a paintbrush, toothpick, or piece of wire to fill the cells of the design. After it’s all set I laid a paper towel over it and allowed it to wick water from the enamel. Afterwards it looks like a bunch of colored sand set into the cells of the wire design.
Next I used a dry paintbrush to brush away and loose enamel and prepare it for torching. The more glass you add to a piece the longer it takes to fire it. I was so excited when my mermaid finally made it to the torch – it seemed to take forever for the glass to fuse. Of course that’s probably because I was holding my breath and counting every second. At last the metal glowed, the glass flowed and my first firing was complete!
It was a real pain trying to get the wet glass to pack into some of the finer areas; the arms, the fish tail and the tips of the seaweed were real buggers. I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to get enough glass into the tight spots to get a good fill, but I gave it my best shot as I wet packed it the second time. When I went to repack the tail I accidentally grabbed the wrong green – ACK! I didn’t realize that I’d grabbed the green for the seaweed until it was too late. As I started packing I recognized that the colors weren’t the same, but I decided to just go with it. It looks a little like a shadow on her tail though, so in the end not much damage done. This time I used some of the transparent that I had used on the bubbles to layer over the opaque blue background to try to give it a more watery look. Off to the torch she went!
In the end I am happy with this experiment. I am learning a lot as I go and I’m sure I’ll make plenty more mistakes in the learning process, but for now I say ‘Not bad for an amateur.’ I’ve got many other pendants planned and I can’t wait to get to them! Stay tuned. 😉