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Liquid Enamels: Dip It, Brush It, Sgraffito It!

Liquid enamel can be a great and quick way to get a solid layer of enamel color onto your metal. But what happens to an enameled surface when we start to layer, overlap, and apply the enamel in ways that result in a completely unique result? That is what this demo-focused virtual workshop is all about, the search for novel surface designs and textures using liquid enamels.

Throughout the class we will dip, brush, sgraffito, layer, wipe, scratch, and use just about any tool we can find to create interesting surfaces using liquid enamels. Come ready to experiment with your enamels and push past what is considered to be the “correct” enamel application process!

Meet the instructor

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Jennifer Wells is a studio artist and educator originally from the U.S but currently living in Italy. She holds an MFA, in Metalsmithing & Jewelry Design and has completed artist-in- residencies at: Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg, TN, Pocosin Arts in Columbia, NC and the Jentel Foundation near Banner, WY. She has worked for several U.S based Craft Schools, in a variety of roles.

As an educator, Jennifer has taught for and been a visiting Artist at Universities throughout the U.S and for study abroad programs based in Italy. She serves on the Board of Vita Institute and teaches short workshops on various enameling and metalsmithing techniques throughout Europe and the U.S. In recent years she has curated multiple international exhibitions focused on jewelry and enameling.

Her works are in the collections of the Enamel Arts Foundation, Racine Museum, All Russian Museum of Decorative Arts, Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts, Yale University Art Gallery, Crocker Art Museum and Private Collections.

Materials & Tools

The following supplies will be used for course demonstrations and objectives. A suggested item and/or vendor has been provided below for reference. Click the vendor name (in red) to be redirected to a page where you can find the item. The quantities needed for each item are listed first. If ordering, please be aware that some items may come in larger quantities than needed for this class. We recommend not opening an item's packaging until the day of the workshop. Student participation during or in-between class sessions is strongly encouraged but not required - observers are welcome.

Metal/raw materials (note iron wire cannot be galvanized):

  • 12"x12" x copper sheet - 22g or 24g (Parawire)

  • 6"x6" min. x pre-enameled steel plate - 28g (Thompson)

  • 1 x roll of annealed iron wire - 28g - optional (Amazon)

  • 1 x roll of annealed iron wire - 18 to 22 (Amazon)


Enamels (note high contract color recommended or color of choice, such as flame red 771, hunter green 791, sky blue 799):

  • 4-8oz x liquid enamel - 533 white (Thompson)

  • 4oz x liquid enamel - 772 black (Thompson)

  • 4-8oz x liquid enamel - transparent bc-303L (Thompson)

  • 4oz x liquid enamel - color of choice (Thompson)


Hand tools:


Enameling setup with kiln:


Other/miscellaneous items: 

  • hard work surface

  • fan and open window or ventilation system

  • safety glasses 

  • ear protection

  • pencil and notebook - note taking

  • rags/towels

  • straw

  • painters tape

  • Elmer's glue (or water soluble glue)

  • toothpicks

  • wooden sticks from your yard - flexible 

  • block eraser

  • x-acto blade

  • card stock

  • sewing pins

  • newspaper

  • paper clips and jars with stand

  • sand

  • saw dust


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