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Cold enameling with colored resin


#21

This debate regarding the difference between resin and vitreous is
just getting as old as gold.

If the word enamel means glass and only glass then why do they use
the word vitreous with it . Its like saying something is glass glass
. This debate has more to do with ego than anything else. When the
dictionary definition is pointed out people say oh we cant believe
the dictionary all the time can we. Referring to different types of
materials as being enamel does not take away anything from the very
skilled enamellists we all know and love. If you have such a problem
with the usage of the word enamel why don’t you contact every paint
manufacturer in the world and tell them your thoughts. surely they
are a more prolific user of this word ENAMEL. I wonder what Dupont
would have to say. I look forward to all your criticism soon .

Thank you
Phil Walker


#22

Hello Lisa! : ) Aside from the issue and recent discussion of the use
of the terms “Plique-a-jour,” and “Enameling” in your posted
question on “Colored Resin,” which we’ve already gone over…

I’ve been giving your posted question some thought. I don’t
currently work much with either types of epoxies or types of resins,
(though I’ve dabbled with a few of them a bit) but I’m moderately
familiar with the basic properties of polyester resin. I am not sure
that it is necessary to raise a fine silver layer to prevent color
contamination of the resin? Though doing so might give a nice bright
silver color to the finished Sterling piece, as long as you don’t
polish it back off after you’ve finished the resin process.

I’d love to read more definitive posts on the question.

 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? 

I can think of two places that you may fine very useful information
on the best way to prepare your sterling silver for a number of
types of resin products…

The first place is of course the “Orchid Archives,” which have a
multitude of archived on resin products. Perhaps a search
of the basic words “Resin Jewelry” in “all” the archive years… I
found 107 posts.

Link to Orchid Archives posts with those search words: Resin+Jewelry

Or just “Resin” as the search word in “all” the archive years. Link
to Orchid search results for “Resin,” some 650 posts:

Perhaps if you skim the “Excerpts” you might be able to find some
very helpful that has been posted in the past.

The second place to find out better what the author Kathie Murphy
might have been referring to when she recommended that the surface
of the metal should be treated to prevent discoloring, would be to
email her and ask her to clarify what she meant in her book in terms
of that process.

I’ve done a quick Google search of her name and have found that she
has a WebPage available online. Kathie Murphy URL:
http://www.design-gap.co.uk/kathiemurphy/index.html On her WebPage it
lists an email address: kathiemurphy@design-gap.co.uk

I should think that she might answer an email question regarding
text in her book?!

I hope you find all the you need to continue your
exploration of polyester resin in your jewelry, and I wish you the
best of luck with your work!

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


#23
   Would everyone be happy if I referred to Crazy Glue as "cold
soldering?" 

Sure Lee, I’m going to use that one myself first chance I get, so
thank you. I have often had to resort to my “chemical setting
technique” with some of the crap, I mean “jewelry” I get to work on.
:slight_smile: This method is similar to “cold soldering” except it involves
". . . well, to some people they’re gemstones I guess.

David L. Huffman


#24

Why not chill out folks. I find calling colored resins ‘enamel’ less
offensive than plastic objects and jewelry appearing on the pages of
’Metalsmith’ magazine!


#25

Hi Noel,

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

Thank you. I have no doubt that you will continue to break new
ground in its use as a medium in jewellery making. I sincerely wish
you well.

By you re-opening the debate you helped me to clarify why I feel so
strongly about the nomenclature and to be equally careful about the
terms I use. Thank you for that too.

David


#26

Phil

  If the word enamel means glass and only glass then why do they
use the word vitreous with it 

Because the word enamel does not mean glass. I quote

“The word enamel derives, via the Old French esmail, from the Old
High German, smelzen, to smelt - the process most crucial to the
making of enamel” Marian Campbell (1983) Medieval Enamels, Her
Majesty’s Stationary Office, London, 48 pp

There is also what is known as porcelain enamel which, in addition
to the traditional components of vitreous enamel, also contains
finally ground clay, betonite, I believe. We don’t see many of any
more, but many of the signs for gas stations were made with porcelain
enamel. They are now highly prized collectibles.

Referring to different types of materials as being enamel does not
take away anything from the very skilled enamellists we all know
and love. 

I believe it does. Because when I am selling a piece for a
particular price and a potential customers say that they can get a
piece with the same colouring for a quarter of the price, I have
potential lost a sale as well as credibility. I now need to take
valuable time to explain the difference and let the buyer come to her
or his own conclusions. If the customer is confused the we as
jewelers (part time, full time, bench, art) are collectively
diminished because we as a group have lost the trust of our audience.
It all comes to credibility.

David


#27
 Would everyone be happy if I referred to Crazy Glue as "cold
soldering?" 

Oh no, Lee. It’s proper name, which you should always use, is
"Japanese super stone tightener".

(grin)

Peter


#28

I don’t care for the title of this thread, but it is there for a
reason.

When euphemisms are applied in order to make something sound better
(positive “spin”), it makes the new method or object “sound” better,
but it does a disservice to the people who are emotionally invested
in the old method or object that the euphemism is drawn from. That
is why people are getting so irritated about the casual use of the
term “enamel”.

It is each person’s responsibility (if they even care about it) to
politely educate people about the misnomer.

If the misnomer still sticks, then maybe we need to remember that
English is a living language, and linguists would tell us that
definitions of terms change over time to reflect their new useage.
You might say that language is agreed upon by consensus, rather than
by absolutes (only “dead” languages have absolutes, that is why
Latin is used in law).

I propose that, rather than trying to force a person to use a
particular definition, why not just inform them politely, and let
it go?

–Terri


#29
when I am selling a piece for a particular price and a potential
customers say that they can get a piece with the same colouring for
a quarter of the price, I have potential lost a sale as well as
credibility. 

Well, you can also buy some exquisitely wrought plastic goblets, but
they can’t compare with the crystal ones that they mimic. Vitreous
enamels fall more into the ‘fine jewelry’ category, while resins are
pretty much costume jewelry…just by their nature.


#30
Because when I am selling a piece for a  particular price and a >
potential customers say that they can get a piece with the same
colouring for a quarter of the price, I have potential lost a sale
as well as credibility. I now need to take valuable time to explain
the difference and let the buyer come to her or his own
conclusions. If the customer is confused the we as jewelers (part
time, full time, bench, art) are collectively diminished because we
as a group have lost the trust of our audience. It all comes to
credibility. 

David: Yes, it does take time to explain the difference between
processes, but this situation does not exist only for enamelists -
those of us who do not do enameling (or do it only now and again as
I do) face the same situation - you could spend just as much time
explaining the difference between coin silver and sterling, PMC
construction versus fabricated, etc. etc. So I think this practice
just goes with the territory and I don’t see it as diminishing any of
us. I think each material used has its own value. I personally own
things made of coin silver which I love and if the artist’s labor had
been fairly valued, it wouldn’t have been so inexpensive. I work in
PMC as well as fabricated sterling. One does not negate the other.
We’d all love to have knowledgeable persons buying our items, but I
see it more as an opportunity to educate those who don’t know. And
how would you lose their trust by explaining? I think you would earn
their respect. Before I learned to make jewelry, I was one of the
"uninformed" and as I learned the art, I was amazed not only at all
the things I didn’t know but truly amazed that ANY hand made jewelry
could be purchased at a reasonable price. I can only speak for
myself, but it is very seldom that I need to explain the processes
but when I do, most people are fascinated to learn how something is
done or why it is different from something that looks similar. In
any case, as you say, the decision rests with the individual
purchasing. I do not know their financial values which may be very
different from mine. After all there are people who prefer
hamburgers to steak although they could afford anything they wanted.
And all the explanation in the world is not going to change their
taste buds. Isn’t it wonderful that we all have so many choices. And
given that, isn’t it amazing that we are succeeding at all. And
wouldn’t you welcome someone asking about the differences? An
opportunity just waiting. This is not meant to disregard how you
feel, but to give you another slant on it from one who is not a
"full time" enamelist.

Kay


#31

Lord, I know I should keep my mouth shut and let this die, but I can
resist anything but temptation…

resins are pretty much costume jewelry....just by their nature.  

Just can’t let this go by. I gotta say, it’s all about what you do
with it. There’s gold and diamond jewelry that’s anything but
"fine", and there’s work made out of the lowliest of materials that
is absolutely fine…art. For years, people have been dismissing
polymer clay as “hobby trash”, but look at what Ford and Forlano,
among others, do with it! PMC has such a low “threshhold of entry”
(like polymer and resin) that there’s a lot of bad stuff out
there-- but also stunning work. I agree that resin masquerading as
enamel is used to make some real garbage. But, you know, there’s a
lot of vitrious enamel used to make real garbage, too.

Years ago, a friend said “You know, 90 percent of science fiction is
junk” to which another friend replied, “90 percent of everything is
junk!” I think this is true, and holds here, too.

“He who has eyes to see, let him see.” (I’m not a Christian, but
there’s a lot of truth and wisdom in the Testaments!)

Noel (who doesn’t know when to shut up)


#32

I don’t know who sent this email since it was unsigned; but I think
this has some general interest.

The resin vs enamel has been well covered, but I would like to
comment on " I have potential lost a sale as well as credibility."

    when I am selling a piece for a particular price and a
potential customers say that they can get a piece with the same
colouring for a quarter of the price, I have potential lost a sale
as well as credibility. 

If you’re a designer jeweler in vitreous enamels much of what you do
is to educate your potential customer. Take it as an opportunity to
engage your “potential customer” by explaining what it is that you
do and how it differs from “resin jewelry”; if you think that is
what the potential customer is refering to.

It seems that you made an assumption that the "potential customer"
is knowledgeable about enamels. If that person realizes that you
are doing enamels and they want something inexpensive with the same
coloring i.e., resin jewelry there’s nothing to be done. If this
person is not knowledgeable how is it that you’ve lost credibility
and with whom?

I design and sell gold jewelry and occasionally someone asks to see
a piece, I hand it to them and that person hefts it their hand ( I’m
assuming they are trying to gage weight). I ask, courteously, for
the return of the piece and explain that I don’t sell my work by
weight and tell them they would probably be better served elsewhere.
This last point is that there are people who you may encounter in
the market place that cannot tell the difference and are not
potential customers. Even when I feel the person is not “my
customer” I am not rude and will treat each person with courtesy,
but sometimes you have to cut 'em loose.

I guess this a long winded way to say take these occasions to engage
the person and perhaps create a customer for your work. Just one
person’s opinion.

K Kelly


#33

Hi Noel. I agree with you entirely. One cannot relegate jewelry
made with resin to the" :costume jewelry" category. The crux of the
matter is what the artist does with the materials—be they resin,
clay, gold, platinum etc. A true artist can take some relatively
inexpensive material and turn it into a treasure, and a hack can
take diamonds and platinum and produce an embarassingly horrid piece.
It is what one does with the material that matters. I have seen some
beautiful pieces of jewelry made with resins, and any artist who
works with them has no need to apologize for them. As a matter of
fact, it is the true artist who can see the potential beauty in
something that someone else sees as worthless trash. What you said
in y our post is important, and I am glad that you resisted the
temptation to “shut up.” Alma


#34

Hello Noel,

You have taken quite a beating over this “resin” “cold” enamel
thing! Some people don’t know when to let sleeping dogs lie! When it
comes to misnomers and nomenclature the jewelry industry is just as
bad as the rest of the world. For example: “soldering” or “solder” as
opposed to “brazing” or “brazing filler material”. “Soldering” is
when you are using lead or tin “solder”, however, I have never heard
anyone in this forum refering to “brazing” silver jump rings or where
to find “brazing filler material”. Nor have I heard anyone complain
about it as it may “confuse” the potential customer and cause a
"credibility" issue.

And no you can’t say that super glueing something as “cold
soldering”, you may call it a “mechanical join”. I’ll let you!

Chris


#35

Since everyone is holding on to nomenclature, I thought that I’d add
one to the list. I used to work for a woman who once told a
customer who needed to have a pearl re-attached to a post that " if
you will wait one moment I will go and use our instant setting
gel".!!! The customer was so impressed! Go figure.

I do have to add my 2 cents, I am doing enamels now and they are too
damn hard to let folks get away with calling resins enamel. You all
know what customers think when you say cold enamel or hard enamel or
vitreous enamel; they are thinking Faberge’ or some great works which
are similar. To try and evade this thought is only foolling
yourselves ,you know it is not ethical. If you want to use plastic
call it plastic, or resin or whatever. Stand behind your product, if
it is beautiful it will sell. Dennis