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Published:  2012-10-16 Views:  323
Author:  Esquivias
Published in:  Hardware
One process that is commonly undertaken by amateur jewellery makers, when making their own jewellery, is copper enamelling. Whilst a popular process used to decorate pieces of handmade jewellery that many people carry out on a regular basis, there is a number of safety risks involved in copper enamelling.

The copper enamelling process is a technique used to fuse tiny shards of glass onto a sheet of copper. This enables the jewellery maker to create a unique yet smooth design which they can work into a wonderful piece of handmade jewellery. If you're planning to enamel copper yourself you should ensure that you know how to be safe when doing so; if you don't you could risk becoming injured - something that no one wants. Remember, it is always a good idea to do your research before starting any new project that you are unfamiliar with. Ideally you should develop a reasonable amount of knowledge on all the risks involved.

When carrying out the enamelling process you will be likely to use a device known as a kiln. The kiln works similar to an oven - baking the materials stored within. In the process of enamelling copper the kiln heats up the copper allowing other materials to be fused to it. In some cases the material fired in the kiln may also be molded into a variety of shapes. It is most important to note that kilns get extremely hot. You should never use a kiln without wearing the correct safety equipment. Firstly you should put on a pair of safety gloves; very thick, these gloves will prevent your hands from being burned. Even after you've finished firing using the kiln you should never touch it straight after as it is designed to retain heat and can cause burns. You should also never place any materials on top of it either - as you could potentially damage them. Young children should always be supervised around a kiln; whilst those that have never used a kiln before should retain their concentration throughout the firing process. By taking these simple steps you can ensure that you and others remain as safe as possible.

In order to undertake the copper enamelling process you will need a piece of flat copper sheet, a front opening kiln and a pair of heat resistant gloves. One of the first things that you will need to do, in order to begin the enamelling process, is to wipe off the copper sheet and make sure that your kiln has been set at a temperature of 1400 degrees. You should always wait until the kiln has reached the required temperature before you place any materials inside. Always put your gloves on before you set the sheet of copper into the kiln; by using the fork tool to position the copper sheet - with the shards of glass placed on top - properly inside of the kiln, as this will ensure that you don't have put your hands inside the kiln. You should leave the sheet until it has gone black in colour. Then by using the fork to remove the copper once more place it in a bowl of cold water. Once it has been cooled you will need to set the sheet of copper in hydrochloric acid and scrub away any scales that remain from the firing.



Enamelling is a technique used by many jewellery makers to decorate their handmade pieces. This article explains how to be safe when enamelling with copper.

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