torch enameling.

Went out with shop faithful owners last night.  I miss them.  Besides the business side of things, which interest me a lot, and the way she thinks about it, which is smart, I don’t miss working there right now.   This is neither here nor there….

This is what I want to show you! enameled beads enameledbeads 2 The technique is torch emersion enameling.   Made popular by Barbara Lewis.  pretty cool.   Though her jewelry making style isn’t mine, I have a vision for these in my world.    The nice thing is that these are beads made of iron.  Way, way WAYYYY less expensive than copper.   The bummer is the only place that these iron beads are made is CHINA.   So, they only are part made in the USA…as in “made PRETTY in USA” .   Which in the grand scheme in jewelry making many, many, supplies are not originated in the USA.  Nearly all of the gemstones, precious and semi precious are from other originations, like India, & Russia.   We have some Turquoise in Arizona & New Mexico, Fluorite in Kentucky, and Tourmaline in California, and probably a few other things that I don’t know about because I am in no way an expert on this.     ANYHOW, I don’t let the fact that these are made in China get me too bogged down.  I source everything possible from the USA and will continue to search for suppliers on our turf.

I purchase her online class last summer while I was on vacation in Florida.  Then that week before I got home I purchased my first mapp gas torch.   I just got it set up this week.  A big accomplishment in my life.  For some reason, I have been a little afraid of the thing.

I am not afraid of much.  Dentists, and Snakes come to mind… however already having a healthy respect for the heat of my kiln, & now the flame, is probably not a bad thing.     Anyhow, getting it all set up safely and lit took some muster. But I did, and the above beads are the result of  a days work.

I highly recommend Barbara Lewis’ book (new one is coming out soon!) & her video class.  It was @100 bones if I remember correctly.  You can watch and re-watch the videos, as I have, which is really nice.  And though I haven’t reached out to ask her questions, I get the feeling that she is very accessible from her blog, and FB posts.    Check out her world @


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