tumbling jewelry with enamel

by Linda
(Brooklyn, NY)

Hi - have chased/repoussed a copper cuff with depressions for enamel, and need to work harden the metal after being in the kiln for the enameling (the copper anneals, and the enamel melts, at the same temperature!) - is it possible to tumble something to work harden it with enamel? Or is there something I can do to cover and protect the enamel while it's being tumbled? Thank you!

Stacy's Answer:

Hi Linda!

I do not do enameling, so I asked a friend of mine, Pam Timm who is a very accomplished enamel artist about tumbling enamel.

Pam said that as long as the enameling is bezel set or recessed in the piece it will tumble just fine. However, if the edge is exposed, (like the enameling coming to the edge of the metal, applied to the surface without any raised metal protecting it), then the enameling near the edge of the piece could get damaged. She said it's like an unprotected edge of glass.

As far as a coating...I haven't found anything - say like tape - used as a protective cover that can withstand tumbling... they all come off.
I'll ask Pam what she uses to harden the copper after enameling and post the answer in a few days. Any info from enamel artists out there is welcome!!

Click here to post comments

Return to Tumble Polishing Q & A.