Playing with Fire: Torch Fired Enamels

July 01, 2018

Playing with Fire: Torch Fired Enamels

The Art of Enameling

Artist and Island Cove proprietor Colleen Ewart is known for her wide range of jewelry-making skills. But did you know she's the creative force behind the torch fired enamel charms at Island Cove? It's true! In her home studio she creates beautiful enamel charms and pendants by hand, and integrates them into her jewelry designs.

variety of torch fired enamel charms

Training & Inspiration

Colleen credits a fellow artisan for teaching her about this unique medium. "I learned torch fired enameling as opposed to traditional kiln fired enameling about 11 years ago from Joe Spencer. He is considered the pioneer of Multi Torch Fired (MTF) Enameling." 
Joe dedicated his to life to his craft, working well into his eighties and early nineties. In fact, he's quoted as saying "t he lure of the flames is irresistible." And although he passed in 2016, Colleen believes his legacy lives on with the many students he taught throughout the years, including her. 

The Artistic Process

Colleen uses a torch to heat the metal up to about 1500 degrees and then either dips or rolls the charms into the colorful enamel powders. "Each piece gets a few coats before I add my signature speckles, which are larger chunks of enamel. When I bring the piece back to the flame it melts over the metal to create a beautiful glass coating. Once complete, I then integrate these enameled charms and pendants in my jewelry designs," she explains.
Colleen Ewart torch fired enamels
leaf charm during enamel process melting enamel speckles

Designing Jewelry with Torch Fired Enamel Charms

Colleen's one-of-a-kind charms and pendants are on display exclusively in her Indian Rocks Beach shop, Island Cove Beads & Gallery, and online at Island-Cove.com. But keep in mind, every one of her torch fired enamels is custom made, and the colors and placement of speckles will vary slightly from piece to piece.
They're sold both individually and as pairs, and can be used as pendants or charms, making great design choices for necklaces and earrings.
torch fired enamel earring sets
scallop torch fired enamel necklace torch fired enamel philodendron earrings turquoise starfish torch fired enamel necklace




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