Grains of Glass

An open studio for Enamel Artists worldwide

Hi friends,

I've read in the Thompson Enamel Workbook that you can enamel on aluminum, and I was wondering if anyone had tried this and what their experience was.  The Workbook states that it should be 3003 type of aluminum, and that you should fire the enamels as you would on copper. 

Any experiences would be appreciated -- thanks!

Diana

Tags: aluminum

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Hi Diana,

Basically, all metals can be enamelled, if the melting point of the metal is above the melting point of the enamels. So also aluminum. BUT!!  Special enamels are needed.
Against a number of years, Thompson Enamel produced a low-temperature enamel, which was suitable for aluminum and brass. But the demand for these enamels was so low that Thompson has stopped production many years ago. Another producer of such special enamels there is not to my knowledge.
But as consolation. There were only very few colors and many of them were not very beautiful.
There was a longer article about "Enamelling Alumnium"  in Glass on Metal many years ago. Maybe that Thompson can send you a copy of this article.
Edmund

Thank you, Edmund, for your detailed response!  Reading further through the Thompson Workbook I suspected that there were special enamels, due to the lower melting point of aluminum.  And you proved it correct.  I appreciate you taking the time to share your knowledge.  Warmly, Diana

Hi Diana,
thank you for your reply!
Because it is a rainy afternoon here in Bavaria, I have "googled" a bit about Aluminium enameling. Thereby I found I found this article.

http://www.aluminiumcoatings.co.uk/


Unfortunately it is not a realy description of the process and which enamels you need. Maybe, if you google a bit more intensive, you'll find some other, more detailed posts.
I must confess I was surprised, that aluminium professionel enamelled becomes.

Edmund

I did some enameling on aluminum a number of years ago, and yes you need special enamels. Thompson stopped selling them  not only because of low purchases, but because it deteriorated quickly. I do remember reading about someone who used regular enamels on aluminum, letting the aluminum  melt up around the enamel, as an edge. I think it would be risky as far as fumes go. 

Dear Leslie, thank you for your thoughtful answer!  I think the Thompson workbook I have is quite old, and therefore out of date.  From the answers I've received on G of G, aluminum doesn't quite seem worth the trouble.  Thanks again, Diana

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