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.August 22, 2014.
Jewelry Making Daily
Make Lampwork-Like Glass Head Pins Using Enamel and a Torch

A few years after I learned to do it, enameling (by torch) is still my favorite jewelry-making technique, and I'm always looking for new ways to use enamels in jewelry making and new enameling products to try. So I was really interested when I saw our friend Barbara Lewis of Painting With Fire Studio post a video on Facebook of her son David Lewis making enamel flower head pins . . . using only 6/20 mesh* enamel, wire, a torch, and pliers.


First, David made regular round enameled head pins using 80 and then 6/20 mesh. "I had played around with making copper head pins using 80-mesh enamel with much success, but it seemed a bit tedious when I was trying to create larger head pins," David says. "I love the look of 6/20 mesh over copper pendants and beads, so I figured I would give it a shot with the head pins.


6/20 mesh enamel head pins
Photos courtesy of Barbara Lewis.
 

"One of the first things I noticed when firing was how wonderfully gravity helped in forming the head pin. When the 6/20 is melting onto the copper head pin, gravity has a tendency to pull the glass downward and transform it into a beautiful rain drop of glass. It all seemed so very simple and it truly was!"


enamel flower glass head pins
 

After making round enamel (glass) head pins, David was inspired to go one step further and give some shape to the ball of glass on the head pin. "The next step was to create a flower with this lovely gather of glass!" David says.

 

"We have an imported . . . and very expensive . . . brass press in the studio that can squeeze the glass into a flower shape." David knew some folks wouldn't have room in their budgets for such a pricey gadget, so he improvised. "I grabbed some pliers and started pulling at the (hot) ball of glass. With little effort, a flower was created."


glass flower head pins made with enamel
 

You can watch David make enameled head pins and flower head pins in Painting With Fire Studio's video. (When you click the image below, a new YouTube window will open where you can view the video. Note that the video starts a little loud because of the noise of the flame.)


 

The result looks like lampwork glass flower head pins! Though I've only gotten to try lampworking once, I loved it and welcome the opportunity to create something similar using products I already have. Plus the 6/20 mesh enameled head pins--both the round and the flower ones--are pretty and so versatile for jewelry making. "Head pins and glass flowers made with 6/20 Thompson enamel truly make for some exceptional jewelry components," David says. "Even after a design is completed, you can add a bit of color to the composition by wrapping some glass flowers or enameled head pins in just the right spots!"


For more enameling fun, grab Barbara Lewis's new torch-fired enameling book, Mastering Torch-Fired Enamel Jewelry: The Next Steps in Painting With Fire. (There's a step-by-step tutorial for making enamel flower head pins in it, along with sooo many gorgeous enamel jewelry projects using beyond-basics techniques.) Barbara's first enameling book, Torch-Fired Enamel Basics, is the beautiful book that started my enameling love affair--don't miss the sequel! Learn more about these books as well as all of our enameling books, videos, and exclusive collections below.


* Definition of 6/20 mesh enamel: Small pebble-like pieces of glass. All grains of glass will go through a screening mesh with 6 openings per linear inch, but none will go through a mesh with 20 openings per linear inch.

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Tammy Jones

Tammy Jones
is the editor of
Jewelry Making Daily.

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Mastering Torch-Fired Enamel Jewelry
Spice up your jewelry designs with Mastering Torch-Fired Enamel Jewelry by expert enamelist Barbara Lewis. Grow your enameling skills as you learn about the immersion process, then explore beautiful color layering techniques with transparent and opaque enamels. With 17 step-by-step jewelry projects from fun and funky earrings to unique upcycled bracelets along with 50+ techniques for metalsmithing, beading, and wireworking, this book is sure to spark creative ideas and ignite your passion in torch-fired enamel jewelry!

Order your copy of Mastering Torch-Fired Enamel Jewelry to:

Discover groundbreaking enameling techniques that will leave you having more fun exploring and less time cleaning your metal.
Master techniques using decals, stencils, fire scale decoration, and more.
Find interesting ways to incorporate fibers including cord, ribbon, and leather into your jewelry designs.
Explore beautiful color-layering techniques with transparent and opaque enamels along with exclusive color mixing recipes.
And more!

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Mastering Torch-Fired Enamel Jewelry
 
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Explore other enameling resources available in the Jewelry Making Daily Shop

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Torch-Fired Enamel Jewelry Basic Jewelry Enameling Torch Fired Tutorial Torch-Fired Enamel Basics

Torch-Fired Enamel Jewelry

by Barbara Lewis

Basic Jewelry Enameling

Torch Fired Tutorial

with Pauline Warg

Torch-Fired Enamel Basics

with Barbara Lewis

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Also available as an eBook! Also available as a digital download!
Also available as a digital download!
     
Susan Lenart Kazmer Enameling Bundle Torch-Fired Enamel Jewelry Free eBook Bundle Torch-Fired Enameling Ultimate Collection

 Susan Lenart Kazmer

Enameling Bundle

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Torch-Fired Enameling

Ultimate Collection

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