How to Cloisonne Enamel

By Larraine Stacey
Cloisonne can be simple or very intricate.

Cloisoinne is an age-old technique of applying colored glass to copper, silver and gold using thin wires to separate the cells. It is a beautiful art form that can be used for making small objects such as jewelry and religious images, to much larger items like bowls, vases and enamel sculptures.

Preparing and Firing Cloisonne`

Clean your metal thoroughly then spray it with a thin, even coat of Klyr-Fire mixed with water.

Arrange the cloisonne silver or copper wire in the desired design. The wire will stick to the Klyr-Fire until the piece is fired.

Wash your enamel pieces. Add wet enamel to the metal in the design you're using.

Put your cloisonne piece into a kiln that is heated to 1,600 degrees. When the enamel melts, remove piece and allow to cool.

Add more enamel and repeat the process. You may need to do this several times to get the desired look.

Smooth your piece by grinding it with alundum stone under water.

Wash the piece using a fiberglass brush.

Fire-polish your cloisonne piece. Allow to cool completely.

Warning

Don't do anything to try to cool the piece faster as it could crack the enamel. Let it cool naturally.

References

About the Author

Larraine Stacey started her career as a reporter and editor in 1966, when she wrote daily columns, features and editorials for "Grand Prairie Daily News." A University of North Texas journalism major, Stacey writes for Let's Go Travel Guides and other websites. She is also the author of a bestselling young-adult fantasy series.