Enameling & Gold

In the Hoover & Strong Catalog, 1996/97, page 20, they mention
enameling gold sheet. Stated that all of their gold sheet & wire
contains less than 4% zinc content (excepting 10K Yellow) which
"makes our gold suitable for enameling purposes. We manufacture
10K Yellow Gold Enameling Sheet." I’m just reporting what was
written and I do intend to call their technical line
(804)794-3700 to find out more. All the published materials I
have all state that the gold for enameling must be 24K. Now you
all know why I haven’t bought anything in gold other than
cloisonn=E9 wire & foil! If the lower K will work, this would be
great. Then I wouldn’t mind so much paying a bit more for the
education that comes with working with new materials (that
is–not everything will work well the first time!)

Has anyone out there worked with H & S enameling gold? Any
success stories on using lower karat gold?

My thinking on using the gold to begin with is to start small.
Enameling small bits & working them into a design, probably by
providing little bezels to frame them off (& protect them). One
of the enameling newsletters I receive stated (from a conference)
something to the effect that enamelers should include precious
metals & semi-precious or precious stones in their work. The
buying public will pay for perceived value of materials but will
never consider that time is the most expensive material in
enameling. This makes sense to me in that people pay the big
bucks for the stone or the platinum or the gold, but the design &
the time to produce the article does not factor into what they
think they are paying for. Then there is determining what is our
most critical business issue. Mine is decreasing the amount of
time between an order and the delivery date, while maintaining a
high degree of quality. Other cbi’s will arise as I go along,
but this is the one for me for now. Means I get to fulfill the
good & fast, but it won’t be cheap triad. (You know the one:
good, fast or cheap, you can only have 2 out of the 3).

Any thoughts here?

Eileen Schneegas
Middlesex, England
Snow Goose Designs, Metal & Enamel Art