A Life of Varied Endeavors

Monthly Archives: January 2011

Enameling on Silver Foils, Palladium Leaf, Ginbari

I took a class from Coral Shafer (Enamelwork Supply Company) a couple of weekends ago that focused on using metal foils and leaf in enamel work.  I had my first experience, though very brief, with screen printing enamel – in this case on silver foil.  We used gold size to adhere metal leaf and Vaseline to adhere silver foil to fired enamels.  We used liquid enamel to set up a base to do a process called “ginbari”.  Coral sells a silver foil she calls ginbari – it’s thicker than traditional foil -, but I didn’t realize that it was intended for a special process involving embossing the foil, and then “back filling” the raised embossed areas during firing.  The liquid enamel base fills the raised lines.  

One way to accomplish the embossing is shown here (Coral’s demonstration):  24 or 28 gauge wire is glued on a non-absorbent surface, in a pattern – much like laying cloisonné wires.  The foil is then placed over the wire and a brayer is rolled over it (protected by felt) to create the raised surface.

Coral Shafer Laying Wire for Ginbari

Coral Shafer Laying Wire for Ginbari

Checking the Ginbari Foil Embossing

Checking the Ginbari Foil Embossing

After properly adhering the foil to the (already fired) liquid enamel base, and being careful to avoid pressing the raised pattern down, all is fired together.  The enamel is pulled up into the raised areas during firing, leaving the raised lines rock hard.   The “cells” can then be filled with enamel and fired.  When time permits, I’ll do this to finish my class pieces.

ginbari over textured metal sheet

Ginbari - Rolled Over Textured Metal

Ginbari Over Wire

Ginbari Over Wire - fired and ready to enamel. It takes some practice to get the foil properly placed on the piece - mine is off-center.....

I sort of fell in love with the palladium leaf.  I’m looking forward to working with that more.

How This Blog Began

Hi Tina,

Seems like months since Monday.  A long week – Busy Season full on, in fits and starts, I guess.

I wouldn’t search out my blog right now!  Still much learning to do.  The main impetus for starting it was that I stumbled on to someone’s blog through a search about chasing and repousse at Christmas – he had just posted an entry and it popped up in Google.  Turns out the blog is about 5 yrs old, and I just felt really comfortable with his style and approach.  Fairly laid back, infrequent, unassuming, interesting, varied.  I thought, I like this, and I might want to do something like this for myself and my friends, family, other interested people.  Sort of a way of coming out of hibernation, if it’s time for that. 

So I may run out of things to say, as you mentioned, but if my approach is low key, I think it’ll be okay. Maybe it will lead to more things.

Anyway, this actually seems like a good introduction to my blog, now that I’ve written it.   I may just cut and paste it as a blog entry.

That’s the background – I’ll let you know when it seems like it’s fairly up and running.

Have a great weekend,


Multicurrency QuickBooks

Among other things, the past week was somewhat intensely devoted to setting up a client’s new Canadian subsidiary in QuickBooks.  Learning about multicurrency functions in QuickBooks, and the limitations (in the U.S. version of QB, I assume) when the U.S. dollar is not the home/functional currency.  Interesting, glad the process proceeded and is ready to hand-off to my client.

Tina’s Opening and a New-to-Me Gallery

Yesterday David and I attended the opening of a group exhibit that my friend Tina Koyama is in. Tina’s work in this show is watercolors and collages, not the beadwork and sculpture that we are used to seeing.
Tina's Watercolors and Collages

Tina's Watercolors and Collages

david, penny, greg, and tina at oasis opening

David K., Penny K., Greg, and Tina at Oasis Opening

Other artists in the exhibit are showing work in acrylics and photography.  One, Paul Lewing, is the author of a book I recently read during my enamels research, “China Paint & Overglaze”; he’s also working in acrylics now.

The Oasis Art Gallery has an eclectic mix of work from many artists.  The space is comfortable and friendly, and, for me, the joy and satisfaction that the artists experience in making their creations comes through pretty clearly.  There is enthusiasm in the work.

david in the oasis front gallery

David in the Oasis Front Gallery

A BAM Visit

david outside of the bam

David Outside of the BAM

David and I went to see some exhibits at the Bellevue Arts Museum; the ceramics show, BAM Biennial 2010: Clay Throwdown!, is due to close in a few days.  That was a good show – things to like, and not so much.  Of course. 

 Most interesting (wonderful, wow!) is a solo show of April Surgent’s 14-foot wide “mural” style glass engraving.  It’s composed of over a hundred 6 x 12” pieces of layered glass, engraved and looking like photographs.  It’s really worth seeing.  Even the “armature” holding the mural in place is amazing and impressive.  Check out her site for pictures of the work and her process.  April Surgent.