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Intro to Enameling

October 28 - October 29

Instructor – Tom Ellis

The Intro to Enameling Workshops are a sampler of many enameling procedures, techniques and materials. We will start with the basics and have you enameling within 15 minutes. You will quickly move on to more advanced procedures and selected techniques on both days.

Saturday’s First Project

Saturday will consist of two projects. These projects will give you a strong grounding in basic enameling. The first project is a 2” dia. copper pendant. Procedures and information include safety considerations; metal preparation considerations; sifting; firing; removing copper oxide after firing; wet inlay enamel application; importance of water content for control and cold scrolling, and vibrating enamel to achieve a smooth surface.

Saturday’s Second Project

The second project is a small copper bowl (2-3/4” dia., by 5/8” high). Procedures include how to apply 80 mesh enamel to to a dimensional surface; apply and fire transparent enamels to their full color potential; pickling to remove oxide; adding a ‘foot’ to the bottom of the bowl which eliminates the need for a trivet when firing the bowl right side up, as well as being a decorative element; making a cloison with copper cloisonné wire, applying and firing the cloisonné wire; cutting silver and gold foil into pallions (small squares and rectangles of foil) applying and firing the pallions to the front of the bowl; wet packing transparent enamels and using opalescent lump to achieve and faux opal look.

Sunday’s First Project

Sunday will consist of two projects that are completely different from Saturday’s projects. The first project is separation technique enamel pendant. Procedures include working with thin copper; learning how to emboss the copper into a dimensional object; how to apply enamel to a dimensional (non-flat) surface; use of holding agent as related to enamel application; applying and firing enamel to both sides in the first firing; firing a ‘direct on copper’ transparent enamel to its most transparent and correct color; understanding copper oxide as it relates to enamel color and firing; how to apply a ‘thin’ coat of enamel and why you would want to; firing only to gloss and why it might be important; how and when to use the smallest Thompson Enamel sifter; how to mix separation powder; how separation works and the importance of line pattern and thickness of application; when to fire hot and long. There will be some time during the day to discuss using a torch for enameling.

Sunday’s Second Project

The second project consists of learning how to transfer any image (anything that can be copied on a copier) and make it permanently fired onto a steel tile; learning about painting on enamel materials: ceramic pigments, water colors, overglaze painting colors, acrylic enamels, enamel marking pens, enamel marking crayons, oils and mediums used, Carefree Lusters; and how to make a needle thin line using oil based overglaze black using a crow quill pen; and also how to fire painting enamel materials.

By the end of each workshop day, you should have a good idea as to what you wish to accomplish with enamel. All tools and materials are supplied. Participants are only expected to bring an open mind, and a pair of eager hands.

Saturday and/or Sunday

Cost: $115.00 per person/per day, which includes all materials

Sign up for one or both days

One day – $115.00
Two days – $230.00

Time: 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM both days ( 12:00 noon to 1:00 PM – Lunch )

Class Registration

Pay for classes by credit card. You may also pay by check. If you prefer to use a credit card, please click the “Buy Now” button below. You will be able to use any major credit card. We handle our credit card payments through PayPal so you can rest assured that the transaction is secure and your information is safe.

Please select day(s)


October 28
October 29


Tom Ellis
(859) 291-5901


The Enamel Center
650 Colfax Ave.
Bellevue, KY 41073
+ Google Map
(859) 291-5901


If you plan to arrive the evening before, we recommend Comfort Suites, (Ph. 859) 291-6700), 420 Riverboat Row, Newport, KY and Holiday Inn Express Hotel and Suites, 110 Landmark Drive, Bellevue, KY. Tell them you are visiting Thompson Enamel and you will receive a reduced rate for a standard room. They are located only 4 and 3 blocks respectively from Thompson Enamel.

Workshop Cancellation Policy

We understand that circumstances can arise causing a change in your plans, but we must adhere to a business policy. If too many cancel at the last minute, the Foundation loses money.

If you cannot attend the workshop date you have paid and registered for, you can always switch to another workshop that costs at least equal to or more than the workshop you registered and paid for without penalty. If the workshop you switch to costs more than the workshop you paid for, you will be responsible for the balance. If you switch to a workshop that costs less than the one you paid for, the difference in cost will be subject to the terms below.

If you need to cancel your workshop registration, a $15.00 processing fee will be charged against your refund.

If you cancel 2 months or less prior to a workshop - You will be charged 50% of your workshop payment. Less than 1 month will be charged 75%.

The exception to this policy - is if you can give us documentation of a medical emergency or if the workshop has to be canceled due to extremely hazardous weather conditions in traveling to our location.


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