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Electroplating silver for enameling?


#1

Does anybody out there have any advice for techniques to use on cast
sterling, to make it a better canvas for enameling? I want to
create some designs ( the orginal will be either etched in silver,
or created with PMC) that have recesses for enameling, then have
them cast in silver. (small-scale production) I am currently having
etched pieces cast in fine silver, then bezel-setting them. Mostly
basse-taille medallions set with But I want to do some
lower-end pieces that don’t have to be bezel set. Maybe some simple
pendant and earring sets. Since the fine silver is a little soft
for this – I’m thinking they need to be cast in sterling. But I
don’t want to compromise the integrity and brilliance of the enamel,
since I am using mostly transparents. I know a little about
depletion gilding – (could use some specifics) Although I’m not
sure about the efficiency of this if I’m trying to do a large
quantity of pieces. Another jeweler mentioned that I might want to
try a thin plate of fine silver on the sterling. Don’t know
anything about electroplating – Does this sound like it might be
the way to go? And if so, where can I find detailed on
how to do this. Any advice will be greatly appreciated. Kelly


#2

Oh one more thing Kelly, I emailed an enamelist, Allan Heywood, about
your question, and he suggested that you might also contact Bill
Helwig or Woodrow Carpenter at Thompson Enamel about fine silver
plating on Sterling.

Thompson supplies a silver plated steel for enameling and so they
may be aware of the process & any technical issues that might need
to be addressed.

650 Colfax Avenue  Bellevue, KY  41073  USA
P.O. Box 310  Newport, KY  41072  USA
Phone  (859) 291-3800
http://www.thompsonenamel.com/

Might be a good place to check for info. Also maybe post on the Glass
On Metal website in the questions section.
http://www.glass-on-metal.com/

Best Of Luck!
Sharon Scalise
@Ornamental_Creations
http://users.netconnect.com.au/~sscalise/


#3

Hi Again Kelly! I have some info. to post to you on your other
question to Orchid… but haven’t finished composing it all yet…
soon I hope.

  Does anybody out there have any advice for techniques to use on
cast sterling, to make it a  better  canvas for enameling? I know
a little about depletion gilding -- (could use some specifics)   

In the mean time I know of a link to a 3 page article that discusses
enameling on Sterling silver, and how to do "Depletion Enrichment"
to the surface to create a layer of fine silver for enameling on…
Although I do sometimes “Depletion Enrichment” my Sterling pieces
for a fine silver layer & look, I mostly enamel on fine silver or
fine gold, and bezel the pieces as you mentioned that you often do.
The article is very clear and detailed… and it would be much
better if you could read it directly than if I were to try to
paraphrase it, or explain how I go about the process, for you. I
wouldn’t want to be to vague or miss a step out! : )

The can be found in the article “An Introduction to
Enamelling” in an archived issue of eNAMEL Online Newsletter:
http://enews.heywoodenamels.com

If you look through the archives on eNAMEL you may find a great deal
of useful on enameling.

Also in the book “The Complete Metalsmith” by Tim McCreight there is
s basic description of the “Depletion Enrichment” process, which is
referred to in his book on page 76 as “Depletion Gilding” this
description is for general purposes… not necessarily specific to
enameling there is also a brief bit on Bright Dipping & Plating.

And there is an article in the Orchid Archives in the “Library” by
Charles-Lewton Brain that has a description of "depletion Silvering."

Since the fine silver is a little soft for this – I’m thinking they
need to be cast in sterling. I would have to agree that the fine
silver pieces without bezels around them might well be a little soft
and some designs might be at risk for being bent & having the enamel
damaged. : ( I think you may have a good idea in having them cast in
Sterling, but you’re right that the surface will need to be treated
to have a fine silver layer to enamel on.

Finally there is a compiled list of web based articles & information
to do with enameling, from many, many sources, such as “Glass On
Metal,” and “The Enamelist Society,” called “Useful Stuff.” Have a
look at it if you can, there may be additional articles of interest
on this subject.
http://enews.heywoodenamels.com/common/eNAMEL_useful_stuff_01.html

Don't know anything about electroplating -- Does this sound like
it might be the way to go? 

Maybe, not sure… Rio Grande has some electroplating stuff…

And if so, where can I find detailed on how to do
this. Maybe a Google search? And a look in the Orchid Library. >\Any
advice will be greatly appreciated.

I hope that all these links may possibly be of some use to you!
Best Of Luck!
Sharon Scalise
Ornamental Creations
@Ornamental_Creations
http://users.netconnect.com.au/~sscalise/


#4

Kelly, You have received a lot of good about bringing
up a fine silver skin onto sterling before enameling. Don’t lose
sight of the fact that sterling silver has a lower melting
temperature than fine silver. Be aware of the relationship of your
sterling temps to the vitreous enamel brand that you choose to use.

Orchid Rules!..Karla in Sunny So. California