Dorothy Cockrell

Those who teach enamelling to schoolchildren and older students are advised to use lead-free enamels, but many remain to be convinced they are as good as the leaded variety especially in the case of yellows and reds.

Having taken part in a workshop on Plique à Jour given by Marek Kropelnicki at the 1997 Guild of Enamellers Conference and being also in possession of a sample set of Thompson's enamels, it seemed appropriate to put the two together.

Thompson's catalogue gives colour illustrations of the effects of using their enamels on silver, copper, gold and gilding metal but does not indicate the pure colours.

Their melting point seems to be below that of leaded enamels (about 700°-750°C), so there could be an advantage in using them on silver - its only too easy to concentrate too hard on firing the enamel clear and forget about the melting point of the silver!

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