Enamelling on Copper

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More About This Title Enamelling on Copper


Copper enameling—essentially, the melting of glass enamel grains onto a copper surface—is an exciting and fascinating technique. Enamelling on Copper highlights the unique interactions between copper and enamels, and gives a detailed account of working with this wonderful combination. The basic technique—simply sifting ground enamels onto a copper surface and firing the two in a kiln for one minute—is a thrilling experience, but delving deeper into the techniques pays even greater rewards. Starting with an introduction to enamels, this new book goes on to explain how to work with an enameling kiln, including temperatures and timings; the different kinds of enamels and how they work together; the enameling process; and how to control small sifted particles of the glass enamels to achieve your designs. A final chapter is devoted to the practice of firing the enamels higher than is necessary in order to transform their colors to create unique effects.


Pat Johnson discovered the beautiful medium of melted colored grains of enamel on copper as a young woman. The process was very quick and soon she was making and selling small enameled pendants. During this time she developed her techniques to make virtually any kind of enameled design or image. After she bought a larger kiln, Pat experimented to see if enameling was as much an art form as painting. She challenged herself to work in diverse styles ranging from realistic images to abstract art, and began to receive commissions to make murals on large scale steel panels. Pat then spent 20 years working in the premises of industrial enameling firms and producing public murals. Eventually, wanting to return to enamel's beautiful transparent effects, she returned to working on copper, principally using bowls to achieve the best results. Throughout her career, Pat Johnson has taught enameling on copper at West Dean College. The discoveries that have come out of these classes have contributed largely to her understanding of the behavior of enamels and enameling techniques.