I’ve been travelling and teaching in England, so I have not been
keeping up with Orchid too well. I did see some questions about
enameling on Argentium Silver that don’t seem to have been answered.
I am not an enamelist, but here is what I have learned from my
enameling friends, and the Enameling Forum:
-Argentium 930 can be enameled on by using the lowest temperature
that the enamel melts at, for several minutes. Opinions vary as to
whether it is best to use freshly abraded AS, or whether it is
better to annealing and pickle one to six times prior to enameling.
Jennifer Friendman, a fine enamelist and Orchid member, has had good
results after six times, but another friend of mine had good results
on freshly abraded AS 930, using a clear flux under transparents.
Jim, on the Enameling Forum reports: “I fire enamels on 970 at the
same temperature as fine silver, 1450 deg F. I have a PMC kiln that
controls the temperature well, but it looses about 100 deg F when I
put a piece into the kiln. I wait until the kiln heats to the point
it starts controlling, the relay in the klin starts clicking, and
watch through the window until the enamel just fuses and take it out
at the orange peel stage. I follow the same steps on fine silver
too. I clean both metals the same way, with Bon Amie cleanser which
is just pumice. This removes any oxidation from the surface.
Argentium forms a germanium oxide that is transparent and reduces
the tarnishing but I remove it just before I enamel. So far the
argentium seems to work the same as fine silver…”
So, I encourage enamelists to pursue enameling on Argentium 930 or
970, using these tips, and to report their results. I hope that this
Thank you to all my new British friends for the warm hospitality!