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Finding a recipe for Surmai


#1

The Victoria and Albert Museum posted the following short video of a
setting technique I have never seen done before. I want to learn it!

The first line is about the material used and I can make it but I am
having a hard time finding the correct mixture. How much of each
ingredient should I use for the best quality?

This is the first line. “The interior of the jewel is first filled
with a mixture of shellac and antimony, known as surmai.” .

When I search for Surmai, I get lots of pages about fish. I am
pretty sure that would not hold gems very well and the smell would
not be a selling point.

So any help would be welcome.

Thanks! Jerry

Gerald A. Livings
Livingston Jewelers


#2
The Victoria and Albert Museum posted the following short video of
a setting technique I have never seen done before. I want to learn
it! http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/ep824c 

Keep in mind that the stones must be foil backed to be set in this
fashion, so that the shellac mixture does not touch the back of the
stone directly. So you’ll need a foil recipe and the directions for
adhering the foil.

Recipes for colored foils for different stones can be found in
Cellini, but I don’t know how the Mughal jewelers stuck the foil to
their stones.

Elliot Nesterman


#3

Gerald - did you find this link?
http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/ep824d


#4

Great link. However the article states that the enamel work is
applied after the wax and stones. I’m guessing that the enamel would
happen first as the temps. required to fire enamel would melt the
inlay material and ruin stones.

Jo Haemer
timothywgreen.com


#5

I believe one article described each gem cell as completely sealed
from theair. I don’t think the foil is adhered to the stone, as is
the case withrhinestones. A stone smaller than the “cell” is places
on a layer offoil that has been set on the bottom of this cell. The
back of the stone is flat. The stone is set with 24K gold foil bits
and once they are compacted against the wall surrounding the gem,
the foil has been welded in place mechanically and the setting is
air proofed. Cheers, Karen