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Using transparent enamels on argentium?


Most of my work is in silver, and I’d like to switch more work to
Argentium for its better strength, non-scaling and great tarnish
resistance, instead of the sterling or fine silver I am now using. I
have found it a terrific form of silver once I adjusted to it.

I find enameling with transparent enamels difficult on Argentium,
due to possible germanium reactions with the enamel. So far, in all
my test pieces, the transparent enamels turn opaque. This is not good
for the champleve that I like to do. And why does my normal procedure
of depletion gilding that I use with sterling does not seem to work,
and what can I do instead? BTW, a leaded-flux coat underneath works
well with using opaque enamels (same techniques as copper enameling).

Any help with this would be appreciated!


You can try enamelling on Argentium, but I suspect that you will run
into many problems and will be unable to solve them. And I suspect
that those who say otherwise are really just not very honest about
it. Transparents shouldn’t turn opaque (and there are all sorts of
discoloration too) and why should you take the trouble of using a
lead-bearing flux as a base for the opaques when normally you need
no flux for those at all? I think that you are just going to make
life more difficult for yourself.

hth, Leach


I have not been able to find the argentium 970. Spent all of
yesterday calling every company I know. I also wanted to experiment
with plique a jour as the argentium is stronger than fine silver.

And from what I have read not tested, is to sand the plate before
enameling on the argentium for transparent enamels for best results.

Patsy Croft


Speaking of enameling. I have been working with stone and metal for a
year and a half. Prior to that I was working with polymer clay. Now I
have taken an enamelling class, and would like to buy a small kiln.
One person told me I would need a seperate kiln dedicated to metal
clays from a kiln I would use to do enamelling. Does that sound
right? Does anybody have experience casting bronze or copper clay in
a kiln used for enamelling because if I am not mistaken they get
fired in a closed container. Wondering if that would enable me to use
the kiln for a dual purpose?