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Picture of Rorschach Liquid Enamel Earrings

In this tutorial, I will be demonstrating using the liquid enameling techniques used in traditional enameling styles like grisaille. This technique can be easily substituted with custom shapes and colors beyond just simple circles and black/white enamel. What you will need is all listed here and I also included links to various locations where you can find these products. Most of these skills are fairly straightforward and can be done with a novice or beginner. I teach a high school jewelry class, and my most of my students love enameling the most out of the lessons I teach.


I don't endorse one particular resource, but I personally check a few different resources to price check. I only included links to help you start on your search! For example, I typically use Fire Mountain Gems, Rio Grande, Rings-Things, Thompson Enamel, and various Etsy sellers carry many of these products.

Step 1: Cut Your Pieces

Picture of Cut Your Pieces

For this first step, you will want to cut your pieces. There are several different ways to cut metal. One, you can use the circle cutters (found online at amazon) that require using a brass hammer and you can find them at various places, like Harbor Freight. Anytime you use steel tools with force, you want to use a brass hammer to prevent your dies from mushrooming. There are precut circles you can buy at a much higher cost at about $1.10 a circle, or you can buy the sheet metal and do the cutting yourself. The circle cutters demonstration can be seen in this video. You can also use french shears and manually cut them out as well. Ultimately, it's the matter if you plan on only doing it once versus a lot and how much you want to wrap up in tools vs time. The shears are good for large slight curves and straight cuts. If you plan on manually cutting and want them to be consistent, you can use paper and rubber cement to attach the paper templates to the surface of the metal. Apply the rubber cement to both surfaces and let dry before attaching the paper to the metal. It allows for better placement and it won't move around on you as you try to cut.

I love the way these came out and hearing about your process :)

What do the backs look like?
jillsmoker (author)  Penolopy Bulnick4 months ago
They're covered in firescale, so if you want it back to bright copper, you can make a pickle bath, using various compounds that you can buy to 'eat away' the oxizidation/firescale. Here's a great website that covers all of that. Nancy Hamilton is a fantastic jewelry artist that I follow! I personally enjoy the uniqueness of the firescale, so I rarely ever clean the firescale off of my pieces. Here's a sample of what it looks like. It ranges from reds to blacks in color.
Thanks for all the information and I agree, I like the way the firescale looks :D
jillsmoker (author)  Penolopy Bulnick4 months ago
Thanks! I've done copper pieces that specifically feature the firescale as part of the design, rather than the traditional liver of sulfur for that 'blackened' look on jewelry. It ages really nicely and not much finishing is needed afterwards.
Epiphany_12 made it!4 months ago
I made it and painted it a different color: red and blue. I wanted to add white, but I also didn't want to make it patriotic colors. So I sticked with what I had. I added rhinestones and made it a different shape.
jillsmoker (author)  Epiphany_124 months ago
I would love a closer look! I always enjoy seeing what others make!
audreyobscura4 months ago
I had never heard of this process that is awesome!