Applying Enamel Multipens to a Bisque Teardrop

Design by Jamie,
Instructions by Tammy Honaman, Author, Jewelry-Making Expert and Educator,
Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and BeadsĀ®
The example above shows the progression of enamel being applied to a bisque teardrop. The final teardrop is the result after being fired in a Paragon Kiln.

Multipens are an enamel paint that can be applied to porcelain, metal and glass. These enamels work on glass with a COE of 90 or 96, making them very versatile. There are two size tips, which make it possible to write and draw with the pens; use a paintbrush to paint the enamels on. The enamel is very forgiving but does dry quickly. Testing the paints on a practice piece of porcelain then firing in your kiln will help establish the temperature needed for achieving the results you like.

: : : Materials : : :

  • Paragon kiln
Prepare a multipen for use.
Squeeze the multipen onto a paper towel to remove any trapped air bubbles and to ensure the stream of enamel is smooth and even.

Note: If the paint is too thick, it can be thinned with water until it reaches the consistency you prefer working with.
Invert the multipen and squeeze gently. Apply the tip to the area being painted then move the tip so the enamel flows.

  • Do not move too quickly as the paint is thick and moves slower than acrylic paint would.
  • You can also pour some enamel into a small tray, thin with water then paint onto the surface of a bead.
  • If needed, use a wet brush to neaten up the paint after it has dried.
Fire the teardrop in a kiln to the temperature that yields the best results, then allow to cool to room temperature.

Tip: To achieve the look of the angel pendant, the enamels were layered atop each other on the teardrop surface using the fine tip and a paper template to control the pattern.

Each layer was allowed to dry before applying the next.

The final design was allowed to dry completely before firing.

When fired the enamels melded together into a single smooth layer. Results vary from kiln to kiln and sometimes from firing to firing or color to color. It is advisable to do a test firing prior to creating the final design.

The teardrop shown was fired with the following schedule:
  • Ramp 1 = 150 degrees Fahrenheit
    • Firing temp = 300 degrees Fahrenheit
    • Hold = 0
  • Ramp 2 = 400 degrees Fahrenheit
    • Firing temp = 1000 degrees Fahrenheit
    • Hold = 0
  • Ramp 3 = 120 degrees Fahrenheit
    • Firing temp = 1500 degrees Fahrenheit
    • Hold = 10
  • Ramp 4 = 150 degrees Fahrenheit
    • Firing temp = 400 degrees Fahrenheit
    • Hold = 0
Note: The number following the Ramp is the temperature incremental the kiln should increase by/hour

The number following the firing temp is the maximum temperature you are ramping up to

The hold time is the length of time the kiln should hold the temperature at before going to the next Ramp.

Do not be tempted to open the kiln before it reaches 200 degrees Fahrenheit and do not touch the teardrop before it reaches 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

In the teardrop shown, a stencil was used and the enamels were layered atop each other. When fired the layers melded together into a single smooth layer. Firing at a lower temperature would yield a more dimensional effect.

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