Hello K. David W. & All in this discussion thread, : )
Well this has opened up the discussion of the correct use of the
term “enamel” over the marketing driven misused of the term for
resin, epoxy, polymer, & compost products" again hasn’t it?
Anytime I've talked about it to other jeweller's I've described it
as a low temperature curing, hard enamel.
Well really I wouldn’t call it a “hard enamel” it’s not. A hard
enamel is a “vitreous glass enamel” that is hard firing and is fired
in a kiln at between aprox. 1300 degrees F. to 1550 degrees F.
The “low temperature curing” part is correct, but it is a
"low-temperature-curing Resin" which after being subjected to low
temperature has a fairly tough or hard surface. Or perhaps if you are
speaking of a different product it may be… a “photosensitive
curing ceramic-reinforced composite material” which after being
exposed to a light ends up having a fairly hard or tough surface.
I would not suggest that the word “Enamel” be used in regard to the
"Color System" products being marketed to the jewelry field these
days. They are purposely trying to market these products under the
image of a very different material & process. One that has been
around for centuries, and has come to hold a certain position of
respect as a fine craft, for the degree of precision, technical
requirement, & difficulty there is to the process.
Also “Vitreous Glass Enamel” has vastly different properties to any
of the other non vitreous “Resin” or "Composite Color System"
products. ( Would you call an apple – a fish? Or a piece of plastic
– a piece of metal? : ) That is how very different these materials
are from each other!
I suggest that when talking about epoxies, resins, photosensitive
cured ceramic-reinforced composite material, or
low-temperature-curing resin, ( which are often liquid two-part
systems, catalyst and color that are mixed together, then heated or
baked at low temperatures,) it would be best to describe the
material or product with the appropriate material terms. Instead of
just calling it something it’s not.
For example when talking about a “low-temperature-curing resin” I
believe it should be called a “Low-Temperature-Curing-Resin” When
talking about a “Photosensitive Curing Ceramic-Reinforced Composite
Material” then call it that! Or call it by it’s product name… but
don’t call it another material or product. Don’t call it
Enamel/Glass On Metal, it’s not.
There are many color system products available which become "cured"
in a variety of ways. Products & materials like… Cororit, Ceramit,
Durenamel. And other types of color systems like, Colores Epoxy
Resin, Resins, and Epoxies, none of which are enamels.
I find it odd, and really a bit frustrating that some people, and
sometimes even the manufacturers of these type of materials, want to
call these materials inaccurate names. Or at least compare them to,
blur the image of, and confuse their properties with “Enamels.” It
only serves to create confusion for craftsmen simply trying to find
& use products that will best suit their needs. I have no problem
with these produces, they are useful for many processes. I only find
the confused use of the term “Enamels” for them frustrating. We don’t
want to call silver – gold, or a Nissan a BMW… Why would anyone
want to call a resin,-- glass enamel?
and for those who are traditionalists in the enamel field, how
do you suggest such a product be described so as not to insult
those that engage in traditional enamelling methods?
Good question David! It isn’t really quite a case of traditional
enamelling verses a modern “enamel” technique… these products in
question really aren’t “Enamels.” Not in a traditional sense, and
not in a modern sense, they are not the “New Enamels” they are
different materials entirely.
Without distinction in terms to specify separate things, we would
call everything a “thingy-ma-bob.” There would be no distinct
names for plants and animals, it’s would be… a “gray animal” no
matter if it were a whale or an elephant…salt & fresh water would
just be called “water” & when you asked for a glass of it you might
get a surprise…
I see that there have been many posts on this subject in the past,
mine included, : ) I hope that eventually people will be able to
easily find on which ever product that they wish to use,
and use a term for it which best describes it’s properties.
With Very Best Regards To All!