Grains of Glass

An open studio for enamel artists worldwide

Torch Firing - Chapter #11


Torch Firing - Chapter #11

The technique of fusing glass enamel onto metal with the use of an Acetylene, Propane, or Natural Gas torch.

Members: 100
Latest Activity: Jan 24

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Chris Hierholzer






Ann Havel

Discussion Forum



Tags: sgraffito, Hierholzer, gold, foil, tutorials

Started by Trish White. Last reply by chris hierholzer Apr 13, 2014.

TORCH FIRED ENAMEL #4 - CLOISONNÉ TUTORIAL - by Chris Hierholzer 26 Replies


Tags: hierholzer, torch, fire, cloisonné, -

Started by Trish White. Last reply by chris hierholzer Mar 23, 2014.

Studio Set-up 20 Replies

My set-up is by no means the 'best' way to set-up a torch firing space; but, given how little information is out there on torch firing, I thought I would share what I have.  The first picture is my enameling and firing station set-up. I am planning…Continue

Tags: set-up, studio, torchfiring, firing, torch

Started by Tonya Powell. Last reply by Tonya Powell Jan 25, 2014.

Earring posts 3 Replies

Hi all - Looking for advice/help. I have a commission to do 2 sets of enameled earrings that are post-type. I've tried to solder, then enamel, but the sterling silver post can't take the heat and melts off. FYI-am using a torch to fire my enamel…Continue

Tags: earring, posts, findings, enameling, firing

Started by Amy Iversen. Last reply by Trish White Dec 11, 2013.

TORCH FIRED ENAMEL #2- GRAPHITE - TUTORIAL - Chris Hierholzer 21 Replies


Tags: grahphite, Hierholzer

Started by Trish White. Last reply by Kimberly Nogueira Jul 4, 2013.

TORCH FIRED ENAMEL #3 - INLAYED OPAQUE - by Chris Hierholzer 8 Replies


Tags: torch, Hierholzer, opaque, inlay, enamels

Started by Trish White. Last reply by chris hierholzer Apr 4, 2013.

Thompsons Leaded Enamels for Raku Effect

From Schlaifers Enamel web site - sent in by Pam TimmI have found that in order to manipulate the "silver glass" or Double Helix brand glass you need to use a reducing flame - meaning low oxygen - in order to get the desired effect. If the flame is…Continue

Tags: Thompsons, firing, torch, Raku

Started by Trish White Dec 9, 2012.

Torch Fired Cloisonne on Silver 7 Replies

I am Lillian Jones, an Enamelist in Raleigh, North Carolina. This is a tutorial lifted from my blog at, and my website is…Continue

Tags: Jones, Lillian, Cloisonne, Fired, Torch

Started by Lillian Jones. Last reply by Lillian Jones Sep 27, 2012.

Torch firing article in Glass on metal Magazine. 1 Reply

In the issue Volume 31, No. 1 Februar 2011  an article is printed in question "Torch firing Enamel", An Easy, Affordable Way to Enamel for Beginners and Experienced Enamelers, by Tom Ellis.Glass on Metal is worldwide the only enamel- magazine . It…Continue

Started by Edmund J. Massow. Last reply by chris hierholzer Mar 14, 2012.

Torchfiring Large Scale Outdoor Sculpture 1 Reply

Hi All,I have been asked by the local city beautification comittee to enamel a school of fish that will be installed over a dry creekbed running through a garden space. It is a very exciting opportunity and I am looking forward to preparing the…Continue

Started by Pamela (Pam) B. Wilson. Last reply by chris hierholzer Mar 9, 2012.

Comment Wall


You need to be a member of Torch Firing - Chapter #11 to add comments!

Comment by Barbara Lewis on November 2, 2014 at 1:28pm

Hi all, I'm glad to be a member of the torch-firing group and am excited to learn from you all!  The immersion technique that I teach is a little different than most methods in that we heat the metal first (without cleaning it ... gasp!) and while the enamel is hot, we dredge the piece through enamel.  Once you get the piece covered in enamel, the ways to decorate it can be only limited by one's imagination ... which sometimes can be intimidating!  Think of the blank canvas and the first stroke of the paint brush! 

Comment by Candy Smith on January 25, 2012 at 2:49pm

Jean, you set a good example and offer a way to implement it, a great service for all of us! Hope the other teachers take note!

Comment by Jean Van Brederode on January 25, 2012 at 1:49pm

As an enameling instructor at art retreats, I always offer dust masks to my students and encourage them to use them.  I think it is important not only for safety reasons, but also to set an example for future enamelists in the group that protecting themseles against toxic inhalents is of utmost importance.  Unfortunately, other teachers do not offer them to their classes or even mention the need for dust masks!

Comment by Candy Smith on January 25, 2012 at 11:53am

Many thanks, Erin and Chris!

The safety aspects of a new art are so very important and hearing from the experienced artist is very helpful. Working in a studio with others , I am perhaps more aware than most of doing my best to keep us all healthy. Thanks again!

Comment by Erin Brown on January 23, 2012 at 2:21pm
I have torch fired numerous pieces, for about a year and a half, all with unleaded enamels. I always at least wear a mask. I personally would not torch fire leaded enamels at all. Lead poisoning is not something you want to have to deal with. I found that you can get some pretty great colors from torch firing, especially in layers with transparents. I agree with Chris, unleaded enamels also have some caustic fumes and should be handled carefully. I hope this helps.
Comment by Trish White on January 23, 2012 at 11:15am

Reply from Chris..

a respirator should be used even for non leaded enamels.....good ventilation is necessary....metalsmithing and enameling are mediums that have caustic gases and's best to have good ventilation but sometimes i realize its not possible...ultimately its your call how you should deal with the safe! chris

Comment by Candy Smith on January 14, 2012 at 10:46am

Chris, I love your tutorials! Could you comment on the safety issues of using leaded enamels for torch firing? I notice you use a respirator rather than a paper mask. Is this for lead fumes while torching?

Comment by Jennifer friedman on December 4, 2011 at 11:53pm

Love these tutorials Chris.  #1 is very interesting.

Comment by Tonya Powell on October 20, 2011 at 7:43pm

For those in the San Francisco area, Deb Lozier will be teaching a 2-day torch firing workshop as part of the Revere Academy Master Symposium in April 2012.  Here is the link for more info: Torch Fired Enameling Workshop with Deb Lozier

I took we seems to be the same workshop with Deb at Thompson Enamel last year.  It was the best enameling workshop I've taken.

Comment by Tonya Powell on October 10, 2011 at 8:06pm


I have not done the dipping technique.  However, if you are layering over other colors and still getting a muddy result, you may be heating the object too slowly or you may not have the heat/temperature high enough (often happens when tank is almost empty).  When there is not enough heat (flame is too small/weak) or heat is applied too slowly, you will get more oxidation which will yield a muddy result as well.














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Contact: Jean Van Brederode, Thompson distributor

Phone: 717-919-7444




A dvd using a rare and beautifull technique that chris hierholzer has developed using sgrafitto with fine gold foil using a torch to fire instead of a kiln. the enamel is wet packed. it has lots of intructional and easy to read text and limited audio with optional torch set ups at the end.

 Torch firing is a perfect way to fire enamels for those with limited space and can't afford the high cost of a kiln.

click on: Ganoksin

or order through:

 coral shaffer
enamelwork supply co.
1 800 596 3257
1 206 525 9271



Thompson's Vintage

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Pam East's Enameling on Silver Clay DVD


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Hauser and MillerBi-metal Sheet and Discs


A layer of 18k gold alloy with a rich yellow color or 22k gold alloy with a bright yellow color is bonded with sterling silver to form two distinct surfaces. The 18k gold layer is similar to that of most gold-filled products, while the 22k is two to three times thicker than gold-filled, giving it more workability. Surface treatments, such as engraving, scraping, folding, and twisting, can be used to accent the two surfaces.


Contact us: Hauser & Miller, 1-800-462-7447,


A Safe Way to Pickle!




DVD by Jim Lawson

Lapidary Journal


2012 Jewelers Guide to Treated and Created Gems





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