Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Antique silver plate dishes

These are being labeled as eco-friendly upcycling, but I’m slightly
horrified at covering old silver, even if it’s “just” plate.

The description here says that it’s actually glass enamel:

which makes me slightly happier.

What do you guys think?

Style wise, I have to admit I do like the pieces.


I’m guessing these were in pretty sorry shape before being rescued so
I certainly don’t have an issue with the re-styling. Most folks no
longer want the trouble of cleaning and caring for silver plated
objects but these appear very useable!


As a metalsmith of course I prefer real metal finishes.

It’s not glass enamel, it’s powder coating.

She says her company is green and upcycling. There is NOTHING green
about powder coating. Trust me I used to live next door to a powder
coating biz.

The most toxic smells all day long.

She says she wants to apply for a patent. Sorry but you can’t patent
something that has been done for decades.

It reminds me of the 60s when everybody painted over fine old wood
furniture with “antiquing”. A base coat of paint and then a light
transparent colored glaze over it. I’ve spent endless hours
stripping that stuff off of a stunning 100 year old walnut bed room

Jo Haemer

The description here says that it's actually glass enamel: which makes me slightly

I don’t think it does, Elaine. She calls it powder enamel. Glass, or
vitreous isn’t in the description. But she does call it “powdercoat”,
which is a durable coating, but not glass. Much lower temperatures
are required to cure/bond the coating. But it’s a very big step up
above, say, spray paint. Probably reasonably durable with care, but
not like true vitreous enamel or, of course, actual silver. I’m
guessing that she’s probably using pieces where the silver plating is
getting worn, for which there probably isn’t any significant market.

You can find that sort of stuff at Goodwill and similar shops for
not a whole lot of money…

Since you asked:

I personally think they are horrid!

Looks like powder coated silver plated stuff. even the maker is
adding the disclaimer that they aren’t spray painted (because some
look like they are sprayed with gloss enamel paint !) they aren’t
ceramic (because some look as though they are cheap porcelain), and
they certainly aren’t handmade one-off “designs”: refinished
individually maybe but I think I have that very silver set she
recoloured satin black! I think once a few crafty types spot the work
she’s doing a lot of old silver-plate items will resurface and get
similar treatments out of a Krylon can, or a bake-in-the-oven Pebeo
Porcelaine or Vitrea markers or paint for porcelain and glass
respectively! and I might add with the Pebeo line one could do a lot
more creative treatments than the Fiestaware looking stuff.

Re-plating the pieces may have been a better idea. it’s not
Fiestaware’s “Eleganza” line after all ! If I were going to apply
vitreous enamel to plated items it sure wouldn’t be solid colours.
like highlight the acanthus leaves on the coffee service’s legs or
something- anything! Then mixing that pattern with a scallop shell
patterned tray ? In YELLOW ? - ugh ! Then there’s the poor
’enamelled’ tulip casserole In YELLOW? In my opinion actual design
work, not colouring would be better. And powder coating that becomes
"enamel" isn’t kiln fired vitreous enamel to my knowledge so I think
she has some terminology or materials errors. But. how she can call
it “handmade” escapes my comprehension. but so do many (OK, many,
many, many, many…) things on Etsy. Made implies one has fabricated
the item, not simply refurbished/coloured some thrift store finds, or
pieces from the ‘dead relatives collection’! But given the Judges I
can see why this person made the cut. Not a fan - at all. rer

In several of the descriptions there are the words 'powder enamel’
and ‘powder coat’ and there is mention of a kiln, which powder
coating does use. Butpowder coating is not vitreous glass enamel.

Powder coating does not get nearly to the temperatures of a glass
enamel kiln. Masking tape can make it through a powder coating oven.

So it may not be glass enamel. Regardless, they are very cool and
definitely do leave an impression!


It seems that no one wants to use old silver-plated trays any more.
My friend Lily Winter cuts them up and makes earrings out of them.
Her customers love the upcycled angle. This is not, after all, a
silver object, just plated brass.


Hello Orchidland

I polished my old plated coffee service until the brass was exposed!
Not worth replating. I spray enameled everything glossy black.
Sorta’ cool. I get positive comments. Uber modern look. No polishing

Just a fun way to still use an inexpensive plated service. Judy in
Kansas where the chrysanthemums are about to burst into color.

It's not glass enamel, it's powder coating. 

It looked like powder coating to me, but the etsy description does
say glass enamel.

She says her company is green and upcycling. There is NOTHING
green about powder coating. 

Yes, I thought of that too.


I don't think it does, Elaine. She calls it powder enamel. Glass,
or vitreous isn't in the description. But she does call it
"powdercoat", which is a durable coating, but not glass. 

Ah, I see, thanks.


Beth is a former studio partner, and I’ve watched her develop the up
cycling process from the beginning.

The process does use powder coating, not high fired enamel. It
really is a recycling of unwanted hollowware and flat wear into
something more usable, and she has developed a market for her

She is a very creative person in a range of materials, and this just
happens to be what she is focused on at the present time.

Beth won the Saul Bell silver award for her Juliet bracelet in 2007.
She is not adverse to competition, or controversy, and is quite a
pleasant and thoughtful human being.

“a way to make the antique contemporary”. Huh? Does that even make
sense to anybody? Also, the claim that the process is "copyrighted"
is just ignorant.

– Al Balmer

I also object to her calling herself a “Master Silversmith”. based
on what I see and what she writes, I have a hard time believing that
title has anything to do with reality. A genuine Master Silversmith
would have a solid grasp on accurate terminology at the very least

Also don’t see how she can say she is making these. she is adding to
something someone else made. not the same thing to me. but then
I’mold-fashioned I guess…

Beth Wicker

Can’t agree more Beth! “master silversmith”? What! The person
doesn’t even have her terminology correct and the stuff is noxious- I
don’t believe that because powder coating is fired onto something it
makes it "food safe - " au contraire mon cher " ! I think it’s not
safeparticularly when hot acidic liquids (for instance coffees &
teas,) are in contact with the stuff. I’d like to read the MSDS
claims on the product once it’s been fired!..and how thick exactly is
it once fired? If scratched then food exposed to the base metal
becomes another issue…

I wouldn’t take responsibility for what she’s claiming or selling in
a million years- let’s hope she has really good personal liability
insurance!- I see a bunch of unhappy customers in her future.
People, well, craftspeople, that think they have “invented” something
but haven’t done the first iota of research always leave me stunned.
I personally don’t understand even an Etsy business person not doing
their homework, much less making the claims she makes: just because
someone wins the Saul Bell Award in X year does not automatically
make them a master of anything ! Typical Etsy nonsense in my
opinion… rer

Hi all

if she was a “Master Silversmith” she would know some handles are
soft soldered and that is why they are falling off in the heat of
powder coating. “Master Bullsh*t artist” is more likely.

I spoke to an antique dealer about these. Just as easy to re-plate.

His further comments are unprintable.

all the best

I’ve done more than my fair share of antique silver repair and re
plating in my time. Though certainly not to the degree that Jeffery
Herman has.

In most all silver plated hollow ware the decorative finials,
handles, spouts and feet are cast out of a very low temp white metal
and are tin/lead soldered on. Melting temp often below 500F.

Powder coating has to be baked at 400F to cure. That’s why the parts
are falling off.

I’ve heard so many horror stories over the years from jeweler
friends who when asked to repair the handle or feet on Grandma’s tea
pot were horrified to see the part melt into a blob when trying to
use silver solder.

So newbies, when asked to do this. Run! Run away as fast as you can!
Leave this stuff to guys like Jeffery Herman who really know their

Have fun and make lots of jewelry.
Jo Haemer
timothywgreen. com