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Cold enameling with colored resin


#1

Hello! I am experimenting with cold enameling and plique a jour with
colored resin and sterling silver. I’ve been reading a book by
Kathie Murphy which has been informative on the subject, however, my
concern is that the sterling silver may end up discoloring the metal
and resin. Her book recommends that I should treat the surface of
the metal to prevent discoloring, however, it does not teach you how
to treat the metal. Any suggestions on how to treat the metal?
Thank you for your time!

lisa


#2

I have not used resin but I would guess that you need to raise a
fire coat. This is done by repeatedly heating the silver and
pickling it. It’s a good idea to brass brush it with water and
detergent between heatings. Continue with this cycle until the
silver is dead white. The surface is now depletion gilded which
means that copper in the sterling alloy has been removed from the
surface. This leaves a thin fine silver layer. You could avoid this
by using fine silver.

Marilyn Smith


#3

Cold enameling is not considered enameling. It is colored resin and
not enamel. Louise


#4

I worked with epoxy mixed with glass enamel powder for quite a
while. I never had any problem with cross contamination between the
resin and the silver. Some types of epoxy yellow over time (a year
or more), but the metal was (still is) fine, and those epoxies
yellow whether they’re in contact with metal or not. I can’t comment
on Colores or any of the other types of resins.

And, for Pete’s sake, can we stop gnawing on the nomenclature? So it
isn’t traditional enamel. Neither is the Red Devil paint I put on my
kid’s dresser, but that is called enamel. No one is misled by that.
Let’s just agree to disagree, OK?

Noel


#5

Referring to colored resin as “cold enameling” is false and
deceptive advertising. If one is using resin, it should be referred
to as “resin,” not “enamel.” Whether it is applied with or
without heat is not relevant Enamel is enamel, and resin is resin.
The two are totally different products, Alma


#6

Thankyou for the clarification I use genuine vitrious enamel in my
work and am constantly having to to explain the diference Glue dries
glass vitrifies.

Kevin


#7

From Webster’s dictionary.

Cold Enamel just sounds sexier than Epoxy Resin.

Main Entry: epoxy resin
Function: noun

: a flexible usually thermosetting resin made by copolymerization of
an epoxide with another compound having two hydroxyl groups and used
chiefly in coatings and adhesives – called also epoxy

Enamel

  1. a usually opaque vitreous composition applied by fusion to the
    surface of metal, glass, or pottery

2 : a surface or outer covering that resembles enamel

3 a : something that is enameled b : ENAMELWARE

4 : a cosmetic intended to give a smooth or glossy appearance

5 : a hard calcareous substance that forms a thin layer capping the
teeth – see TOOTH illustration

6 : a paint that flows out to a smooth coat when applied and that
dries with a glossy appearance1.


#8

That’s a new one on me! Why would you want to put good ground enamel
in epoxy? Enamel is made to be melted at 1450’ and fused to the metal.
What is the epoxy for? What do you do after the two are mixed and you
put it on the metal? Do you heat it or just let it dry and harden.
Sounds like a waste of good (expensive) enamels to me.

Louise


#9

I can understand why people who do not work with vitreous enamels
think that enamelists are nit picking when they insist that things
be called b y their true names. Resins are resins, and vitreous
enamels are enamels What ir really comes down to is truth in
advertising. If we are going to be really loose in our terminology,
we could easily refer to hea t scarred silver as reticulated silver,
or a white cubic zirconia as a diamond they sure look alike. To
carry it a bit further, we could put some gold paint on a piece of
silver and refer to it as Keum Boo.

When I get really touchy about it is when someone brings me a piece
of jewelry to be repaired, and tells me that the person who sold it
told th em it was an enamel. Recently a woman brought in a
pendant , and expressed her delight in owning an enamel. She had
read all about the Faberge enamels, and was aware of the history
and traditiion behind enameling. I was then faced with the problem
of telling her that she d id not have a piece of genuine enamel, and
that her piece consisted of a resin inlay and not vitreous
enamel.

There is nothing wrong with something being made with a resin, but
the pe ice should not masquerade as something it is not. The public
has a right to know what they are purchasing.,Alma


#10
    Thankyou for the clarification I use genuine vitrious enamel
in my work and am constantly having to to explain the diference
Glue dries glass vitrifies.     Kevin

Just an addendum:

Glue dries, resin cures, glass vitrifies.

–Terri


#11

Alma’s sentiments regarding telling the truth in describing an item
for sale echoes my own somewhat strong views on the subject. I think
one of the reasons that the term ‘cold enamel’ is used so widely is
that ‘resin’ has overtones of ‘plastic’ for many people - an
immediate no-no - and I have lost count of the number of times I have
seen an item described as 14K gold only to find on further
investigation that it is in fact 14/20 GF.

Regardless of how something is described, it is how that description
is interpreted and the item perceived that is the deciding factor.

If you placed two identical pieces on display and described one as
’cold enamel’ and the other as ‘coloured resin’ the former would
generally be perceived by the public as being more expensive, more
valuable and of better quality than the latter, which is likely to be
viewed as a cheaper, even if good, copy.

Words are powerful, and can conjure up perceptions of increased
value, worth and status without actually telling any lies. I am still
trying to work out what a micromineral is, how 'natural carbon’
differs from any other type of carbon and whether the calcium
carbonate in the bottled water at my supermarket is any different
from that in my tap water.

Pat


#12

Noel, I am curious. Why do you insist on calling resins enamel when
just last month you saw the ire that was raised by those of us who do
you glass on metal.

I am also obliged not to agree to disagree because of your logic
when you write

“So it isn’t traditional enamel”.

Noel, the epoxy is not enamel full stop period. So why pretend that
it is? Your use of the adjective implies that you consider the
material to be enamel except it is in a different form, in your case
a non-traditional form, but nevertheless enamel. Your use of the
adjective is just sufficient to deflect criticism, cloud your
argument semantics and thus make it sound plausible. When the
adjective is removed your argument falls apart. Why do you just call
the resin what it is? And if you do, may you make and sell as many
pieces as you can. I’ll support you completely in your use of new
materials to help adorn the body in new ways.

Next you imply that paint on wood, although called enamel, fools no
one into believing that it is enamel.

We aren’t discussing paint on wood, we are discussing the use of an
epoxy or other resin on metal and calling that epoxy or resin
enamel. Once again you attempt to deflect criticism, instead of
meeting it head on, by talking about another medium (paint) on a
different material (wood) the use of both (a dresser) is unlikely to
adorn a body.

Why do I take issue? Because in this town where I live I have seen a
jewelry store selling what looked like a first glance to be opaque
enamel fired on gold. I had to ask at what temperature did he fire
the piece, knowing full well that such a temperature would be
approaching the solidus of the piece with the risk of it slumping
before the jeweller admitted that it was a resin. He also stated that
the buying public didn’t care and it was easy to use.

And that is the crux of the matter; do you tell you customers that
use resins as an element in you design? If you do then I salute you
and wish you well. If not, then I am obliged to speak up, remembering
the words of Edmund Burke.

David


#13

Then, of course, there is the paint variety known as enamel (as
opposed to lacquer). Not vitreous to my knowledge, nor hi temp
fired. English can be such a wonderful language. LOL. Jim


#14

While I don’t enamel I know I go ballistic every time I see a
polymer clay artist calling some concoction of theirs mokume gane
even though it is not even metal. So I completely understand the
feeling the enamel artists has when a resin artist calls their work
enamel. I think Alma has hit the nail on the head, calling resin
enamel is just like calling a CZ a Diamond they look a lot a like
but aren’t the same and it is just as deceptive. There is nothing
wrong with resin jewelry but call it what it is.

Jim Binnion James Binnion Metal Arts Phone (360) 756-6550 Toll Free
(877) 408 7287 Fax (360) 756-2160 http://www.mokume-gane.com
@James_Binnion Member of the Better Business Bureau


#15

Hi Karen,

Thanks so much for the dictionary definition’s they were helpful…
although I’m not sure that a dictionary is always the best place to
seek specific and detailed definitions & meanings of jewelry
specific terms. For example it would be hard to find such names and
terms as Keum Boo or Sparex, or Reticulation, or Mokume Gane. And to
have those definitions truly and accurately describe those materials
or processes as they apply to the jewelry making arts.

For jewelry specific on materials one usually has to go
to text book dedicated to the jewelry arts… and there are many to
choose from! “Enamelling On Precious Metal” might be a good one.

However Mr.Woodrow Carpenter wrote an article about the word Enamel
in language and dictionaries throughout the ages. You can find more
about the article through this link.

http://enews.heywoodenamels.com/V2_No1_July_2002/eNAMEL_the_word_ENAMEL_01.html

An Excerpt: “Encyclopedia Britannica,” 1st Edition, 1771: “ENAMEL, a
kind of coloured glass, used in enamelling and painting in enamel”

“ENAMELLING, the art of laying enamel upon metals, as gold, silver,
copper etc. and of melting it at the fire, or of making divers
curious works in it at a lamp. It signifies also to paint in
enamel.”

Cold Enamel just sounds sexier than Epoxy Resin. 

Yes, and Diamond sounds sexier than CZ but we don’t accept that in
the jewelry industry.

Very Best Regards
Sharon Scalise
Ornamental Creations
@Ornamental_Creations
http://users.netconnect.com.au/~sscalise/


#16

Sheesh, folks, gimme a break!

I would never knowingly mislead a customer about what I’m selling,
or anything else. I got flamed off-line for not being overly worried
that resin is sometimes called cold enamel. Now I’m getting reamed
"in public".

Bottom line, misleading people is wrong. Duh! Someone who is out to
defraud will try to do it, and lecturing ethical people will not
change that. Lecturing unethical people won’t change it either, come
to think.

I call it “cold enamel” or “epoxy enamel” or “resin enamel” because

  1. it looks a lot like traditional enamel in that opaque to
    transparent colored material is laid into metal in ways that mimic
    enamel, and 2) because, as I said, I used enamel powder to color the
    epoxy. (Why? Because that was the way I learned, and I had it
    available.) Call it Duckbill Farbling if you want to! Either way,
    you still have to educate the customer. I have seen people selling
    work made this way without explaining what it really is. Do I
    approve? Heck, no!

I sometimes work in traditional enamels as well. And, as I think I
said, I haven’t done “epoxy enamel” in years. All I did was answer a
question for somebody, and ask that we not go through exactly this,
which has been flogged on this forum before ad nauseum. But feel
free, I’ll open wide and you can all jump down my throat. I only
ask, “let he who is without fault cast the first stone.”

–Noel


#17

Wow Noel,

You seem amazed that we who enamel with vitreous enamel would care,
even if others don’t, that the terms used for the medium we have
struggled to master are described correctly?? I really don’t know
why you are surprised that it is of importance to us?! I can only
imagine that it is important to you to describe your metalsmithing
processes correctly to peers & clients.

Sheesh, folks, gimme a break! I would never knowingly mislead a
customer about what I'm selling, or anything else. I got flamed
off-line for not being overly worried that resin is sometimes
called cold enamel. Now I'm getting reamed "in public". 

I am so very sorry that anyone… “flamed-you” off-line… that is
in my opinion uncalled for & inappropriate. I believe that we can
all remain civil while discussing any topic. And you deserve no less
that completely polite behavior on and off line. But I am not sure
you are correct when you discribre peoples response online to your
suggestions to “stop gnawing on the nomenclature” as “REAMED in
public.” I have read & re-read all the posts and I believe that
those who responded to your post were polite, and specific in their
response. They did not AGREE with you… but then you did not agree
with them, and you were clear that we who keep responding that our
medium is not the same as resin, should give up our repeated
explanation of the materials. You made that statement "in public,"
why should we not respond to you posts in public? That IS what
Orchid is for, the sharing of ideas &

 Bottom line, misleading people is wrong. Duh! Someone who is out
to defraud will try to do it, and lecturing ethical people will
not change that. Lecturing unethical people won't change it either,
come to think. 

I don’t think that clarifying terms is lecturing people, I think it
is clarifying to educate those who may not be aware of
the difference.

I call it "cold enamel" or "epoxy enamel" or "resin enamel" because
1) it looks a lot like traditional enamel in that opaque to
transparent colored material is laid into metal in ways that mimic
enamel, and 2) because, as I said, I used enamel powder to color
the epoxy. (Why? Because that was the way I learned, and I had it
available.) 

I won’t get into repeating everything I posted earlier, although I
still think the word enamel in any of your names above for the
process you used are inaccurate. I understand your use of enamel
powder in the resin to achieve color & body in the piece…yet it is
still hardly enameling… as that would require firing the material
onto the metal at temperatures of 1350 degrees Fahrenheit or more…
but let’s not go there again.

Call it Duckbill Farbling if you want to! 

What? Why? Why not call it what is… not what it is not?

Either way, you still have to educate the customer. 

Yes and it doesn’t make that task any easier if the people using the
materials don’t even know, or care about what the difference between
two such vastly different materials are! That is the sort of thing
this forum is so valuable for, to help to share

 I sometimes work in traditional enamels as well. And, as I think
I said, I haven't done "epoxy enamel" in years. 

Yep you did! I got that.

 All I did was answer a question for somebody, 

Which is great, I salute you!! Thank you for your kind and helpful
posts to so many questions people ask on this forum! You are very
giving!

 and ask that we not go through exactly this, which has been
flogged on this forum before ad nauseum. 

Why though should we other Orchid members “Not go through exactly
this” as you put it, “this” being us posting what we believe to be
true & valuable on these materials? And funnily enough,
although “this” subject has been “flogged” many time on this
forum… it KEEPS coming up again, and again. Perhaps it comes up
due to newbies, just posting, people who have not had past
experience with the materials posting, and new people having not
seen past posts on this subject in the archives… Hence it has
again come up because it is still relevant. Why should those of us
who have an opinion on this subject NOT post to it?

 But feel free, I'll open wide and you can all jump down my
throat. 

I am so sorry you feel like that is what has been happening to you!
I for one am NOT jumping down your throat! You deserve nothing but
respect, as does EVERY other member in this forum. I am simply
posting back to you on a subject that I have experience with, and
answering your request to “stop gnawing on the nomenclature” or “go
through exactly this, which has been flogged on this forum before ad
nauseum,” which I interpret as give up posting my thoughts and
accept yours & other’s point of view about this issue… which I am
not prepared to do.

And speaking generally if one doesn’t want any opposed posts… one
should not post to anything that might create a difference of
opinions.

 I only ask, "let he who is without fault cast the first stone."

I for one am not casting stones, and I have no right to cast
stones… no one does. I hope that other members aren’t either, we
can all always learn something new from our peers in this wonderful
forum, but we must me able to express our opinions on subjects we
have knowledge & experience with.

With Only The Best Regards To You Noel, And To All In Orchid.

Sharon Scalise
Ornamental Creations
@Ornamental_Creations
http://users.netconnect.com.au/~sscalise/


#18

Hello Orchidians, and Noel,

Noel it was lovely to meet you at the Orchid Dinner during the SNAG
conference, as well as so many other Orchadians!

I’m just home from an Art Festival, and have just caught up on the
Orchid posts. I see that the issue of the term enamel has come up
again, and so I find that I again have thoughts to post to this
thread. : )

And, for Pet's sake, can we stop gnawing on the nomenclature? 

With the greatest of due respect Noel… NO I don’t think that those
of us who want to share correct and those of us who DO
use vitreous enamels will want to "stop gnawing on the nomenclature"
as you put it, any more than we would want to lazily use the
incorrect “nomenclature” for such things as pickle solution, nitric
acid, flux, emeralds, sterling, or the name niobium in place of
titanium, or any other term for a material being used!

I think to do so would be completely counter productive to the
sharing of correct, useful, and helpful … which I was
given to understand, is the main mission of this Orchid Forum, and
the Ganokin Project as a whole.

I don’t see jewelry in the books that Charles
Lewton-Brain writes use lazy unspecific materials terminology. So
why should we in the Orchid forum become so lax or lazy with our use
of accurate names and descriptions for the materials we are using?
It makes a huge difference to the answers one would post back to any
specific question posted on the forum to know specifically what
material the person posting the question is really using. I am some
what surprised that you would want to defend using a loose and
inaccurate term for a material.

So it isn't traditional enamel. 

No it is not enamel at all, period! not traditional, not
non-traditional… NOT enamel of any sort.

 Neither is the Red Devil paint I put on my kid's dresser, but
that is called enamel. No one is misled by that. 

I fail to see how one poorly and inaccurately named non-enamel paint
product is a reasonable defense for inaccurately naming another
non-enamel product with the same misleading & confusing term.

Additionally I think that it is a given that people will be less
confused about the difference between Red Devil enamel paint on wood
and vitreous enamel on metal jewelry, than they would be about the
difference in materials and their use in the production of vitreous
enamel in jewelry, and resins in jewelry.

I don’t think that anyone is coming down on resin here or you and
anyone else for using it, it’s a very cool product. But rather I
think people are sharing the truth that it is VERY different than
vitreous enamel, and that it is confusing in every sense to keep
perpetuating the inaccurate name and description in this forum
dedicated to the sharing of accurate about metals and
jewelry, as well as to the public. As would be the case if one were
to use the name nitric acid instead of the name sparex, or silver
instead of nickel, or Mexican opal instead of Australian opal.

 Let's just agree to disagree, OK? 

Noel No, not OK. I have to decline this request!

I will not “agree to disagree” if this request in any way implies…
letting this issue rest, and allowing people to continue to use
inaccurate names for products such as enamel, without voicing my
opinion and sharing my knowledge.

I do “agree to CONTINUE to disagree” with the misuse & inaccurate
use of the terms Enamel, Plique-a-jour, Cloisonne, and a host of
other improperly used terms for resins products and the like. I will
continue to post, and explain to any newbies who use the term
"enamel" when they mean “resin,” the differences between the
materials, and hope that my interest in accurate terms for materials
might help and contribute to this forum. And I will continue to do
the same with any other item, or material if I believe I have useful
to share!

I whole-heartedly agree with David Popham who’s post was very
eloquent, and I am personally grateful for posts from Alma, Louise,
and James, and to all the other people who’s posts clarified the
differences in the materials in question, and gave such useful
examples of how we don’t accept the same misuse of terms in regard
to other jewelry items, such as gem stones, etc…

It is with the greatest respect that I post this, and that I
continue to care about this issue, I in no way want to insult those
people who use epoxies, resins, or any of the brand name coloring
agents to create their work. I only want to clarify the difference
between those materials they use, and the vitreous enamel materials
I and others use.

With Best Regards To All
Sharon Scalise
@Ornamental_Creations
http://users.netconnect.com.au/~sscalise/


#19

No fingers pointed at anyone-

but dilution of language is a pet peeve-

Would everyone be happy if I referred to Crazy Glue as “cold
soldering?”

Regards,
Lee


#20

Friends, I gotta say I am a bit floored by the response to my use of
terms like “epoxy enamel”. Nevertheless, I apologize for having
obviously distressed some of you. I am not perpetuating any
misunderstanding about the amazing medium of vitreous enamel.

My only point was that in the term “resin enamel”, which I believe
even the least sophisticated buyer would realize is not the same as
"real" enamel, is comparable to other modified terms. The modifier
makes all the difference. I spent more than 20 years as a
professional potter. I don’t get bent out of shape when people refer
to “metal clay”, which is not even remotely clay at all. Is that any
different? A moment’s thought will produce other examples. Plastic
wood. Horse apples!

Anyway, I promise I will refrain from any such reference in regard
to enamels. I will call it “resin inlay” from now on. OK?

Noel