Pam East CounterNamel™ Instructions
WHAT IS COUNTER-ENAMELING AND WHY DO I NEED IT?
Enamels put stress on the metal, causing it to warp
slightly, which can result in cracks or chips. Putting enamel on the back side
of the piece equalizes the stress and no cracking should occur.
Ideally, enamel should be applied to both the front and back
of the piece at the same time.
This was tricky with traditional enameling methods. The enamel tended to
drop off the back of the piece, even with the generous use of enamel adhesives
such as Klyr-Fire. CounterNamel™
has solved this problem, making the task of firing enamel to the front and back
at the same time a snap!
WHAT IS CounterNamel™?
CounterNamel™ is a lead-free enamel product. The unique formula creates a layer of
enamel that is hard and secure both before and after firing. CounterNamel™ takes all the fuss and
bother out of applying and firing counter-enamel Simply add water and it’s
ready to use!
Tools & Supplies:
- PREnamel™ or other metal cleaner
- Inexpensive toothbrush
- Distilled Water
- Small condiment cup
- Enamel spatula
- Plastic pipette or eye-dropper
- Vinyl or latex gloves
- Small brush
When handing your piece, always hold it by the edges and
avoid touching any of the areas to be enameled with your bare fingers. Finger
oils, dust, soaps and other contaminants can prevent enamels from adhering
1. Put on a pair of vinyl or latex gloves. Clean your piece thoroughly with PreNamel™ and a toothbrush. Rinse well, removing all traces of
cleaning agent. Water should sheet on the surface, not bead up. If the water
pulls from the edges or beads up, clean the piece again.
2. Place your piece face down in a trivet.
3. Place a small amount of CounterNamel™ in a small mixing cup. Mix up only as much as you will need
for your project.
4. Add distilled water a few drops at a time, mixing as you go
along. The enamel paste should be
wet enough to lay down smoothly on your piece and should stay where you put
it. If it runs or pools it is too
thin. Add a bit more CounterNamel™ powder. If it does not lay smoothly it may be too thick. Add a drop
or two more water.
5. Apply an even coat of CounterNamel™ approximately 1/2 mm thick to
the back of your piece. The CounterNamel™
should reach all the way to the edges of the piece, and should not pull away in
any areas. If it does pull or
bead, re-clean the piece and try again.
6. Place the trivet with the piece on top of a hot kiln to dry. Drying takes 10 to 15 minutes. Once it is dry, the CounterNamel™ will
have a hard, cement-like consistency.
It will not move or fall off, even if the piece is knocked or
7. Place your piece face up in the trivet and apply enamels as you
Fire your enamels as recommended for the enamels on the front of the
piece. The CounterNamel™ will fuse during this process, creating a smooth,
attractive back for your work.
Who is Pam East?
Pam has been enameling since 1997.
She was named a Master Instructor for Art Clay Silver in 2005.
Over the years Pam has appeared on the highly acclaimed Carol Duvall Show on HGTV, and also on Jewelry Making on the DIY Network. She has written numerous articles for such magazines as Lapidary Journal, Art Jewelry Magazine, Glass-on-Metal, and Step-by-Step Beads. Writing about jewelry topics such as metal clay and enameling continues to be a big part of her life. Kalmbach publishing released Pam's first book "Enameling on Metal Clay" in 2007. Pam has also been an invited speaker, giving classes and lectures at such gatherings as the Enamellist Society Biennial Conference, the Metal Clay World Conference, and the Pan-European Metal Clay Conference.