What is vitreous enamel anyway?




After my first couple of years making metal jewelry I felt the need to add color to my work. Enameling was suggested to me as a medium for this purpose. Well, once I started I never looked back. Vitreous enameling on metal is not only beautiful to look at but mesmerizing to work with.


But what is vitrous enamel anyway?


When we hear enamel, typically what comes to mind is the liquid enamel available in hardware stores used for painting walls or furniture. Or it could be enameled kitchen objects used for cooking, as in a roasting pan or pottery. And then there's also nail enamel.

All of these share the shiny finished look of glass.


The enamel used for making jewelry has similar properties in that it can be liquid or powder applied to metal and fired either in a kiln or with a torch. This melts the enamel into a glassy finish which becomes fused to the metal substrate.