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Metals and colours for my castings?


#1

Hello there,

I’m wondering if any fellow Orchidians could help me with some
questions that have been rolling around in my head for a while now.

I have been carving pieces out of wax in the hope of getting them
cast into multiples.

My first questions are in regards as to what base metal/alloy to use?
For the time being I want to cast in non precious metal whilst I get
used to the carving process. I am looking for an ideal gold and
silver tone alloy free of nickel. I have to take into account the
cost, strength and cast-ability. Any suggestions? I was thinking
maybe steel for the silver tone and brass for the gold tone. What are
commonly used in costume jewellery metals? Also do the casters supply
the metals or would I have to source it myself from metal suppliers?

My second question is in regards to adding colour to non-precious
metals and alloys. I have been told that I cannot apply enamel to
base metals because of the melting point difference. I have found a
couple of images which are classed as costume jewellery that have
colour added to them. How was this done and what has been used? I
have been searching the internet for a while on this subject but
have found nothing. Ideally, I would like to have a large range of
colours to paint onto metal. Is there anything like this on the
market for jewellery?

If anyone would like to see some of the images I have collected,
please email me offline.

Any or suggestions would be brilliant and very much
appreciated.

Thanks for your time,
Kate


#2
I have been told that I cannot apply enamel to base metals because
of the melting point difference. 

Enamels on clean copper work fine. Brass does not enamel well
because at the relatively high temperatures needed to melt the
enamels, the zinc which is part of the brass alloy starts to fume
off, yielding pits and grey spots on your piece.

Judy Bjorkman