Making a test plate by Merry-Lee Rae
I find that testplates are a necessary tool in an enameling studio. I like to know what my fired colors are going to look like before I include them in a piece I am working on. I test over Opaque white, over copper, over flux on silver, directly on silver and directly on 24K gold. This gives my so much information about each color. Some enamellists like having individual testplates for each color. My preference is many colors on the same test.
Sift flux on front, not too thick. Fire at 1550 for three minutes. Cool, scrub up back. Heavy coat of flux for counter enamel. Other enamel choices are ok. Fire at 1550. Stone off edges in between each firing from now on.
Make a simple stencil to expose column #1 & #4.
Using Klyrfire, apply silver foil to the 1/2” columns (I like Ginbari) and gold foil to the 1/4” columns. Let dry and fire at 1400 for 3 minutes.
Using P3 or similar and crow quill pen write the color numbers on the opaque white columns. Don’t fire it yet.
Wash silver flux and wet pack on 1/2 of the strips of silver foil. In this case I used G110 as I will be testing Nihon Shippo colors. Fire at 1400 for 3 minutes
Wet pack each color and when all colors are applied, fire at 1400 for 3 minutes.