Sunday, 17 November 2013

how to make some enamel pieces

How to Enamel 

Hello, Zoe here again and welcome to my ‘how to enamel’ blog.

Right then, firstly you need to have a good base to enamel on.  It has to withstand temperatures of over 1,000 degrees so the best metal for the job would be copper.

I’m going to be using a recycled copper piping, the stuff that you find in your house (not that you should go ripping up your house just for this ha ha).

Firstly you will need to cut the piping to the correct length.  I have used a metal tube cutter as this gives a nice even edge, but you can use a saw if you don’t have this lovely tool.  Once the correct length saw lengthways down the middle so to be able to bend it flat once it’s out of the kiln.

Next I am going to fire the copper tube in the kiln.  This makes the copper really pliable, so making it really easy to bend.  Once the copper is red hot, using some metal enamelling pliers, CAREFULLY remove it out of the kiln and submerge it into cold water.

Once it is out of the water you will find that the copper is very bendy and you will be able to flatten it out. The way I did this was by bending it out with my hands, then using a vice with aluminium plates to gently squash the copper in between the plates until flat.

Be warned though as the more you bend it the harder the copper will become.  If you bend it too much you might have to fire it again, and this will make it weaker!

Next you will want to drill you holes in your copper (this only applies if you want holes in it!!! I am popping holes in it to turn it into a necklace!)

Using a small vice and a pillar drill gently drill through your pre marked and punched holes.

You should now have your base!

The next step is enamelling.  You need to make sure your copper is clean and ready to accept the enamel.  Using a glass brush (a small brush made from fibreglass) scuff up the backside of your copper. 

Then, using a fine sieve, gently build up a layer of counter enamel (special backing enamel) over the back of your copper piece.

You want to make sure the layer is quite thick, may be about 5mm, although it helps to work out what is right for your kiln.

Once you have your enamel on your copper, using the metal enamelling tongs, carefully place the copper with counter enamel onto the wire grill in the kiln.  This will be very very very hot so please be so careful when doing this!!!

Watching through your small window, try and judge when the enamel powder has started to melt, the timings will be very different with each kiln.  With my kiln it happened at about 40 seconds.  You can tell when it is starting to go as the powder will go hard and then cracks will appear, shortly after this stage it will melt into one form.

Once melted, remove (again with the metal enamel tongs) and leave on a heatproof block to cool down, this again varies but should take about 10 mins.

Once cool you can repeat the process on the other side, but this time using your chosen enamel colours.

And now you have a lovely piece of enamelled copper!

A few useful hints and tips to remember:

  • Always enamel the back first with the counter enamel as this helps stop the front from pealing off.
  • If you don’t want the back to stick to the grill when you are firing the front with your enamel colour, you might want to erect a small platform for your work to balance on, using nails or other metal that can withstand the heat, but wont melt in the kiln.
  • Always use glove and the tongs when firing, it gets pretty hot and will burn your skin right off if you touch it at all! I should know as I did it a few times and it really really hurts!!!
  • If you want to get a bit fancy with your enamelling then you can always silver solder some copper wire to the copper base, and using a mix of deionised water and glass powder, paint the powder into the areas you have created.   

if you would like to buy any of these creations, or would just like to see what else i have been making then please visit my website at 

thanks for watching 

Monday, 28 October 2013

How to make a Beautiful Chain Bracelet

How to make a Chain Mail Bracelet

Hi guys and welcome to another interesting how to blog.  Today I am going to teach you how to make a beautiful chain mail bracelet.

Firstly you will need the following tools and equipment: some beads, approximately 100 jump rings (I have used 10mm but anything from 5mm upwards is ok), thin nosed pliers, wire cutters and finally some 0.6mm silver plated or artistic wire.

Once you have everything, you will need to start by opening up your jump rings. Always remember to twist them open instead of pulling them as pulling them will distort the metal.

You then want to pick up 2 jump rings and close them up.  Attach 4 jump rings to these 2 and close, then attach 2 more onto the 4.  This maybe a bit tricky so sometimes it is easier to attach you first 2 jump rings to a paper clip so you have something to hold on to.

Next, holding the top 2 rings in your fingers, gently separate the 4 rings below them into set of two as shown below.  To do this push your fingers in between the 4 rings from behind and pull the 2 sets of 2 outwards.  Try to keep a firm hold of this, as it will easily fall undone.

Once your rings look like the above picture, push the bottom 2 rings towards the top 2 rings, then flip them over and pull them back down into their position again.  This has effectively ‘turned’ them over and creates the criss cross effect.  Again this is very unstable so remember to keep a firm hold of your rings. 

Once you have your over all shape, attach 4 more jump rings onto the bottom 2, then a further 2 onto the 4 as pictured below.

Repeat the same process as before another once, so you have a line of 4 centre hoops as shown below. This is one section of your bracelet.

You should now have something that looks like this. You now need to repeat this process about 3 or 4 times to create different sections, depending on the size of your wrist.

be careful as this is still very fragile at this stage. 

The next step is adding the bead detail.  For this you will need about 1 inch of your 0.6mm wire and your bead.

Start by making a small loop at one end of the wire, using your pliers.  Don’t fully close this yet as you will need it slightly open to thread your jump rings through.

Next, thread on your bead.

Then loop the other end into a loop like the first, trying to get it as close to the bead as possible.  Don’t fully close this end either.  You will need to make about 4 of these depending on your wrist size.

Next attach the bead onto one of the ends of the jump ring section and use your pliers to close it on. Then attach another jump ring section to the other side of the bead and repeat until you have a bracelet that fits your wrist size. 

Once you have attached all the beads and jump rings you should now have a beautiful bracelet that looks like this.

At this point I would advise silver soldering each jump ring closed.  But if you have neither the time or tools then not to worry.

If you would like to see what else i have been creating, why not checkout my website at 

thanks for watching 

Sunday, 20 October 2013

How to make a Wire Wrap Ring

How to make a Wire Wrap Ring

Good afternoon and welcome to another how to blog post.

This week we are looking at how to make a wire wrap ring.

These rings as so simple to make, but are also very effective, so lets get started!

First you will need a few things.  The things you will need are a ring mandrel, a jewellery hammer, thin tipped pliers, wire cutters, a bead and approximately 12 inches of silver plated wire, all of which can be brought off eBay for a small sum.

First start by bending your wire in half.

Next thread your bead onto the wire positioning it on the bend.

After that, place your bead and wire onto your ring mandrel as shown below.  You should always position the bead and wire at least 2 sizes bigger than your ring size as the wrapping process will cause the ring to get smaller.

Next, wrap one end of the wire round the top of the bead twice and the other end of the wire, underneath the bead twice and leave the ends as shown in the picture below.

This next bit is quite tricky, so don’t give up, keep having a go until you get it! You need to wrap both ends of the wire around the bead at the same time in a clockwise direction until your happy with the style.  But remember not to wrap all the wire round the bead. 

Once you are happy with the thickness of the wrapped wire, carefully remove the ring from the mandrel and using the pliers, wrap the remaining wire ends around the ring to keep it all together. 

Remember to keep the wire tight against the bead at all times.

Once the ring has been finished off, slide it back onto the ring mandrel.  You should notice it has shrunk in size.

Using your jewellery hammer, carefully knock the ring down the mandrel until you get to the ring size you want.  This may be a bit stiff, but there should be enough flexibility in the ring to get it the correct size with a bit of effort.

Once you have the correct size, remove the ring from the mandrel and you are good to go.

Once again I hope you have enjoyed my blog post and if you are interested in seeing what else I have been making then please visit me at

Thanks for watching

Thursday, 10 October 2013

how to create stage blood

How to create stage blood

Hello everyone and welcome to another how to blog by me, Zoe.

This week my blog is going to look at how to create coagulated stage blood that will go nicely with the scar I showed you how to make last week.

This coagulated (thick, old blood) can be made using everyday household food items.  But be warned, this blood will not set and contains food colourings, so please use carefully.

Firstly you will need a few items, such as corn flour, red and green food colouring, glycerine, golden syrup, a mixing bowl and a stirrer.

First, start by placing your golden syrup into your mixing bowl.  Measure out accordingly to the size and amount of cuts you want to cover.  Mine is only small so I will not need a great deal.

Next add about 2 drops of glycerine into your syrup and mix together, this helps the syrup to flow better.

After that add in some corn flour, again how much you use depends on the amount your making.  You want the corn flour to really thicken up the mixture, so keep adding little by little until its at a good consistency.

Once your base mix is all done, you can then start adding the food colouring.

Add small amounts of red at a time and mix until you have a solid colour.

Then start adding the green.  This helps make the blood a more realistic colour.  You don’t need a lot of green so again I would add small amounts at a time and mix until I am happy with the colour.

At this stage the blood is good to go.  However I will continue to show you how effective it is when used in conjunction with my scar make up. 

Using a small brush apply some of your fake blood into the scar wound you have created (for instructions on how to do this please visit my previous post).

You will now have a gory scar that will freak out your friends and family.

If you want to create some fresher and more runny blood then please follow the previous steps, but DO NOT add any corn flour, instead add water to thin out the blood.  You will also need to use less green as fresh blood is a brighter red.

I hope you have enjoyed my post and if you want to see what else I have been creating then please check out my site at

Thanks for watching