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Thread: PMC and Enamel...Enamel and PMC???

  1. #1
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    Question PMC and Enamel...Enamel and PMC???

    Hi peeps ... I want a bit of advice or suggestions from all you experienced pmc people! I am trying to develop a 'range' of pmc pieces that have enamelled highlights. I am after a degree of repeatability as these will be 'limited edition' pieces - exclusive to one outlet. Hopefully I will go on to do pendants of various shapes and bracelet links...and who knows what else!!! But the basic set up is that I have designed these little tiles into which I am adding enamelled highlights and I want to attach them to 'backplates' of various shapes and sizes. Obviously - as an almost total novice enameller - I do run the risk of mucking a few up!! - I accept that as inevitable! The thing is - if I build the piece first then fire it before going on to enamel I run the risk of 'wasting' a lot of silver (tiles and backplate) if something goes wrong at the enameling stage. So, ideally, I would like to attach the 'perfect' enamelled tiles that I make to the backplates!

    I know you can join fired pmc to fired pmc...but what about fired pmc with enamel to fired pmc? When I attempt to join them in the kiln the temperature must be low enough to not affect the enamel. How low do you think I could go to ensure a fairly robust join without spoiling the enamel? Any other thoughts or ideas?

    I don't want to use cold enamels/resin as I am going for a 'historically sympathetic' look. And I don't really want rivets because the tiles are too detailed and additional 'metal' would look out of place. I don't really want to do any sort of setting/prong/collet device as 1. I don't know how and 2. I need to keep costs down and the amount of time for all that would boost the labour costs sky high!!

    I've attached a quick sketch to try to illustrate the sort of thing I am thinking of... All suggestions welcome!

    http://i558.photobucket.com/albums/s...nameltiles.jpg

  2. #2
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    Barbara - Why not buy a sheet of fine siver from cooksons cut it up into oblongs then make some test strips... Flux half don't flux the other half, fire them to find colours you like.
    This is
    1) Cheaper than experimenting in PMC / ACS Silver clay
    2) Quicker in finding the colours you like

    THEN you can make the pendant you've designed all as one piece and just pop the enamels on (knowing they'll work).
    If you "stuff it up" it's still not a problem as the enamel can be removed and you can start again
    I'm just about to order a load of enamel samples and do that very thing, once I have colours I know I like
    (and will work together) I can make a range of pieces with enamel on
    Nic x
    Last edited by MuranoSilver; 22-08-2009 at 09:37 AM.
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  3. #3
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    It's not the colours or fireability of the enamels that is bothering me. I want to be able to make short runs of different designs featuring the same set of 4 tiles in different combinations, orientations and groupings. I have made moulds of the tiles so can pop them out fairly quickly and get them enamelled. I then want to be able to attach them as required to pmc backs in whatever layout is required to replace the stock at this outlet. I don't want to hold stock of any particular piece if I can help it but want to know I can create another of the 'limited edition' designs almost instantly if needed...in other words I just want to be able to assemble and fire...finish and box!! (...me...production line....nah!!) But it's an idea I want to propose to this particular outlet - that would give them an exclusive, theme related, range of jewellery in their visitor shop. It has to be worth a try! I just need to get it to work!!!... minor point!!

  4. #4
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    cant wait for my course
    Su' xx

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    I want to learn so much, and i want to know it all NOW!!!:p

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  5. #5
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    If you don't want to bezel / prong set them then you'd need to use a cold connection (e.g. a rivet) which would be attached the enamel plaque (prior to firing on the colour) so you can use the coloured squares and attach them after.

    An easier way of doing it would be to use a high melting point enamelling solder to arrange your pieces...
    For instance (using your picture as a guide) you would have the squares pre-made solder them quickly to the back plate (using enamelling solder) in whatever combo you like - pop some enamel onto them in your selected colour combo & fire.

    OR even easier
    Pre make two / three design options of a the back plate entirely in PMC including joining the pieces together in the clay stage. Pre fire them and leave them until the customers choose their colour combos (you could have a colour sampler pre-made up for your outlet)
    This is also the most commercially scalable way of doing it, as if it took off or someone saw them, and wanted large runs you could have the base plate design options cast.


    Nicx
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  6. #6
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    I hope some day to be able to understand all that lol
    Su' xx

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  7. #7
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    Barbara - remember me when you're making for Harrods
    Di x

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solunar Silver Studio View Post
    I know you can join fired pmc to fired pmc...but what about fired pmc with enamel to fired pmc? When I attempt to join them in the kiln the temperature must be low enough to not affect the enamel. How low do you think I could go to ensure a fairly robust join without spoiling the enamel? Any other thoughts or ideas?
    Sorry I didn't pick this part out too
    Any temperature high enough for the fine silver to fuse to any strength would be too high for the enamel to remain untouched....

    Su - when you come on the course ask me and I'll show you some examples

    Barbara - I just re-read your first post and noticed you said you didn't want to use rivets because it would bring another piece of metal into your squares....

    Imagine your rivet looking like an earring with a post (the post goes through the back plate creating the rivet). If you didnt want them to spin you'd need to either use two posts per square or use square wire & holes for the rivets.

    Nic x
    Last edited by MuranoSilver; 22-08-2009 at 11:55 AM.
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  9. #9
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    Done well I think rivets look stunning and can add to a design rather than marr it.
    Di x

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by MuranoSilver View Post
    Su - when you come on the course ask me and I'll show you some examples

    Nic x
    ooo oooooo oooooooooooooo How long is my course again? 2 weeks?
    Su' xx

    My FB fanpage -https://www.facebook.com/CintaHandCraftedJewellery
    My Website www.cintahandcraftedjewellery.co.uk

    I want to learn so much, and i want to know it all NOW!!!:p

    One day i will arrive

    A huggle a day makes the bad stuff go away

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