Friday, October 21, 2011

Torch Fired Enamel Jewelry Blog Book Tour

Welcome to Day 14 of the Torch Fired Enamel Jewelry Virtual Book Tour!

It was back on April 27th of 2010 that I first met Barbara.
I happened across one of the many Etsy treasuries featuring Barbara's beautiful enameled beads and clicked to find out more.
I found her tutorial in her shop and immediately purchased it, printed it and read it through.
From there I found her blog and Painting With Fire Ning group which I joined on April 28th.
On April 29th I came back and bought the bead pulling station.
I remember writing to Barbara full of excitement over this newfound medium and in so doing found that we had a lot of things in common, one of which was our background in clay.

What initially drew me to this process was it's simplicity and the immediacy of results, the colors and textures you could obtain and the sheer beauty of the finished beads.
I was hooked! Or as Barbara likes to say, I have gone to the dark side!

You can read about my first PWF workshop with Barbara in Oct. of 2010 here and the second one this past July 2011 here.

It was a joy to follow along with her on the road to creating her book and I am thrilled and honored that she invited me to participate in this book tour to celebrate it's release.
Thank you Barbara for your confidence.
Now let's fire it up!

When I first received my copy of the book, knowing that i would be reviewing it for this post, I sat and read it from the beginning as if the process was new to me to see how well it could be followed along for someone who was totally new to the medium.
Barbara has done an excellent job at really starting at the beginning from explaining the process, setting up your studio, sections on tools, tips, techniques ( including etching copper sheet) and basic jewelry skills, terms and basic troubleshooting.  The first page I dog-earred was the one with the drill bits demystified which translates drill bit sizes to wire gauge sizes and mm and inches. Priceless!

There are so many projects in here to get your creative juices flowing but the one that I knew immediately I had to try was the  No Solder Bezel - Of Space and Time.

I followed Barbara's directions for making the domed copper cabochon blank and bezel and ended up with 5 sets to play with in one sitting.
The above shot shows all 5 sets, firescale and all.

I ended up enameling 4 sets, each trying something different.
The top piece has an enameled cab set in a bezel enameled in clear to showcase the copper.
The middle one has an enameled cab set in just a heat patinaed copper bezel.
The bottom one has an etched and antiqued cab set in a bezel enameled with transparent copper.
All of the cabs are enameled in place using the method described in the book.
The 4th piece is also an etched and antiqued domed cab set in an enameled bezel using several layers of opaque and transparent enamels which I used for my completed piece.
There were so many ways I could have gone with this one piece, more organic with leather and silks and other natural elements but in the end I chose to work with copper wire, beads, components and chain along with blue crazy lace agates, carved turquoise beads (which i have been hoarding for just such an occasion) and lampwork rounds by Julsbeads.
While I was working with these bezels so many ideas for filling them came to mind that i know I will be playing with these for some time to come!

Barbara will be doing a no solder bezels workshop at Art and Soul Virginia Beach in March 2012 and you can always check her website for all other upcoming workshops.

Now for the Giveaway!
Barbara is going to be giving away these enameled porcelain beads, yes ceramic beads, (a new way to play with torch fired enamels)  How cool or should I say hot is that?

Here's how to enter-  
1. Leave a comment on this post and become a follower = 1 chance
2. Tweeting, facebook or blogging about the giveaway and leaving a comment at the original Virtual Book Tour Post= 1 additional chance
3. While you're at Barbara's Blog, become a follower or saying that you already are a follower in your comment = 1 additional chance

You can earn up to 3 chances per giveaway. A winner will be selected by 10 p.m. eastern time and announced the following day.
You can check at Barbara's blog or here at mine for the name of the winner.

But wait- there's more!
To thank you for following along, we will have a BONUS PRIZE at the end of the book tour! All of the entries will be included in the drawing for a kit containing all the elements of "Floral Cascade," one of the projects in the book. You'll receive everything you need to make the necklace, including the chain, jump rings, clasp, enamel beads, and head pins!

For a chance to win the Grand Prize - a Torch-Firing Kit (or $110 shopping experience at - please leave a review at by November 24. Remember, leave an honest review... the book must stand on its own.
P.S. Unfortunately, we have to restrict the giveaways to U.S. residents. Winners should contact Barbara with their name and address through her author website: so that you can receive your prizes!

There are still 3 more days to travel along on this book tour, don't miss any of these great stops!

October 6, Mary Jane Dodd,

October 7, Gaea Cannaday,

October 10, Andrew Thornton,

October 12, Diane Cook,

October 13, Lori Anderson,

October 15, Jen Judd Velasquez,

October 17, Melissa Meman,

October 18, Lisa Crone,

October 20, Cindy Wimmer,

October 21, Laura Twiford, *you are here*

October 22, Erin Prais-Hintz,

October 24, Jennifer Cameron,

October 25, Sharilyn Miller,

Thank you for visiting!




  1. I really love what you have done with the no solder bezel technique, and thre finished necklace is beautiful!

  2. Thank you for the beautiful images of the no solder bezel technique..and I love the idea of working with clay and enamel...thank you!

  3. And I have just become a follower of your blog...look forward to seeing the things that you create:-)

  4. Laura - all I can say is that piece is fantastic! WOW!

  5. Your bezels and necklace are gorgeous!! Great review - thanks!

  6. I love those copper bezels and the cabs. Just beautiful work!

  7. Hi Laura,

    Love, love, love your pieces stunning!! I just
    Fired some beads for the first time yesterday, after
    wrangling to get the torch set up and
    hope to have a longer session today. Thanks for
    such beautiful inspiration.

  8. What a truly stunning necklace! I'm just itching to try these techniques! I love learning all the cool stuff you can enamel. It has me wondering if you can enamel poly clay too! Thank you for the wonderful giveaway!

  9. I am thrilled to say that I am now a follower!

  10. WOW I love this necklace!Very cool bezel-I even like the look of the fire scaled pieces!!! I am still amazed at everything that seems to be able to go under the torch. LOVE those little beads:)

  11. Your necklace is just beautiful! I love the thought of the no-solder bezel, and you pulled it off so wonderfully!

  12. I'm being pulled to the dark side, reading all these great reviews. What I really like is that each review has a different tip/point of view of the book. Mine is supposed to be delivered today and I can't wait to start reading.
    I love your bezels and that necklace is gorgeous.
    I'm a follower of your blog.

  13. I love the no solder bezel! Thank you for sharing. Beautiful.

  14. GORGEOUS!! Laura! I'm speechless! The no solder bezel is fabulous!!! Thank you so much for sharing!!! You've got me inspired to give it a try and now I can't wait to get home from work and break out the copper and enamels!

  15. What a great job! You did it! Proud of you and proud of Barbara. . .both of you are always dreaming new ART! WooHoo!!! Carol -

  16. I love those no solder bezels! Thanks for sharing your beautiful necklace.

  17. Beautiful work Laura, as always! I've been signed up for Barabara's class at A&S 2012 and I am looking forward to it - not sure I will get to it following the book before A&S. I agree her book is fabulous and there are several projects in it I want to try myself. I am now inspired to get my torch and enamels out and start enameling. Thanks for sharing.

  18. Your jewelry is beautiful! I love the enameled bezels. I'm going to have to make some too. Thanks for the inspiration. : )

  19. I love these disks you've created and the necklace you made using one. Gorgeous stuff here! And I love that Barbara's book is good for beginners, too. I can't wait to get into this (just as soon as I win the big prize -- i hope i hope). Would love to win these beads. They're great!

  20. I am now a follower of your blog.
    I love your bezels, and the necklace is just fabulous. I have the book and the kit, and now really I can't wait to get started. I really would love to make bezels as well as you've done!
    Barbara's enameled ceramic beads are so cool!

  21. Laura, I have been looking forward to your book tour post! I enjoyed reading your history with enamels and how you fell in love with enameling- I can see it in your beautiful necklace! Oh my goodness, that necklace. I want to borrow it. :-) It is gorgeous!! Your cabochons turned out just perfect- I'd love to try my hand at them as well. And btw, your necklace photos are fantastic!!

  22. Hey Mrs. Laura! Very pretty piece. I loved the book you shared with me today at work also! Going to go check out her book now... Thanks for sharing with your artsy little worker (:

  23. I am a follower! Thanks for sharing the beautiful pieces you created!!

  24. I am smitten with that technique as well. I am working on a way to do this without the enamel (no kit yet. Working into that!) I can't wait to take a class with Miss Barbara! I think that is exactly what I need!
    Enjoy the day!

  25. I love your bezels. I can't wait to give them a try! Thank you for being part of the tour. I just became a follower!

  26. Beautiful work Laura!
    I haven't tried making the bezels, yet.

    Warm regards,


  27. Wow, those are amazing I cannot believe they stay together without solder! So cool. I will have to try that at some point.
    Thanks for sharing!
    Shannon C

  28. Laura, I love the bezels you made. I have Barbara's book but I might not have tried this technique had I not seen your lovely work. I am inspired. Thanks for all the comments on Barbara's book. I have just become a follower of your blog.

  29. I purchased Barbara's enamel kit last year in Tucson, but have yet to play with it. I can't wait to try it out.


  30. I am a new follower of your blog. It was fun reading about your first meeting with Barbara. Lucky you!

    I love your work. I really like the enameled bezels.

    : )

  31. Thank you for such incredible pictures following your journey thru no solder bezels. I'm soooo trying this tomorrow. Your work is gorgeous. I'll definitely be following you.

  32. What an amazing necklace! Can't wait to try the technique- I've ordered my book and should be getting it any day...hope it get's here soon! Would love to win the beads and am now a follower of your blog :)

  33. Wow! your necklace is out of this world stunning! So increcible!

  34. Those bezels are amazing and on my list of things to make next year! You make such pretty things!

  35. Love the bezels and your necklace is absolutely beautiful!! I'm honored that you included my lampwork. Thank you!

  36. If you maintain publishing well prepared posts just like this then I will always preserve returning back to your website. Truly great content.
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