I like to buy dried watercolors, pop the little circle of color out
of its tray and then just use a fine nail file to “shave” off the
powders for pigments. They mix really well with epoxy and you can
even mix the powder to just about any color. Also, you can shave
pencil leads; I prefer the “Koh-I-Noor” brand colored pencils. They
come in a woodless color pencil so the entire pencil is usable, and
they mix really well with epoxy and give a really rich, saturated
color. I have also used them to color liquid enamels (for “cold
enameling”) in some applications. I mix up liquid enamels, let them
dry into a solid mass and then carve that into different shapes and
parts. I learned some of this from a work-shop with artist Diane
Falkenhagen, but then took what I learned and experimented around
with other applications.
There are so many things that can be done with cold enamels and I so
wish I had more time just to play around with them. It is really fun
to experiment, and I learn so much just from playing around and
trying new things. I recommend to any jeweler or artist to give your
self time just to PLAY. It is amazing what you can learn, and even
though it seems you are taking time away from “work” you are actually
enriching your experiences, and stretching your skills so that it
does actually pay off in the long run.
If things fail, they are still all kept together in a box of
"experiments" to refer to any time I need to trouble-shoot something
or just want something to inspire me to a new project. I never know
what is going to come of these trials, but often I will find myself
going down a new artistic avenue of thought.
I am not typical of many Ganoksin-land posters here in the forums. I
WISH I were working in a job in my field, but alas I am doing a 9-5
in a glass dealer (I also have a background in glass blowing) to
catch up on the mountain of bills that developed while I went to
college. Most of my jewelry work right now is in the occasional
commission and the rest is what I do with my artwork over weekends or
when I can steal an hour in the evenings if I am not too exhausted
hope to start a local jewelry gallery/classroom/studio within the
next couple of years as the economy settles) As of right now I am
allowing myself to find my niche in my artwork and jewelry making
and I explore as many avenues as I can in the meantime.
Anyway, Have fun! Make New & Pretty Things! Enjoy Yourself!