Notes from Dorothy Cockrell and Anne Halligan’s Sparsholt Conference workshop.

What is Crackle Enamel?

A crackle effect is produced when using a base coat of enamel which has a low co-efficient of expansion (such as Thompson’s 2008 clear flux) with liquid enamel on top (wet process enamel). The low co-efficient of expansion of the flux means the enamel melts faster than other enamels at the same temperature. The crackle base enamel flux is fired in the kiln before applying the top layer of wet process enamel.

Thompson makes crackle base in clear, white and black (the black may appear slightly green when fired).

For this workshop we used Thompson’s 2008 flux and WG Ball’s wet process, but one can get similar effects using other enamels as long as there is this mis-match of expansion. (This may explain odd results that have puzzled you in the past.)

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