Friday, May 31, 2013

Faux Enamel

I've started another blog for my business crafting ( and it made me want to resurrect this one for my own projects and experiments.  So to start it back up, here's a little project I made tonight.

I want to create the look of enamel without the cost of starting up a whole new hobby.  With that end in mind, I've tried several different experiments.  Tonight I tried using embossing powder on a silver plated pewter pendant.  Here's the pendant before and after embossing it:

I rather like how it turned out!  The powder tends to settle like real enamel does, giving the piece highs and lows of color.  I did two layers each of the dark and light greens to get a greater depth of color.  Because I was wondering whether the enamel powder was translucent or opaque (this is a different brand than the powder I use on my zibirdies), I layered the light green over the dark green.  In the future, I'd layer them in the opposite order if I want the dark green to have a more pronounced edge.

I'm going to wear it around for the next few days and see how well it holds up, then I'll update this post with my findings.  If it works well, then I hope to be able to use it on other jewelry projects!  :)

Update 06/21/13:  I've been wearing the pendant quite a bit, even sleeping with it on, though that turned out to be incredibly uncomfortable as even jewelry hollies are awfully prickly!  lol  Anyway, the "enamel" is wearing off on the raised portions of the pendant, so I need to find a way to seal it.  I've decided to re-do the embossing powder on both leaves, then try a different sealing technique on each leaf.  One will have a regular clear varnish, the other will have a clear epoxy.  My guess is that the epoxy will give me a better result.  We shall see!

Update 06/22/13:  I picked up the epoxy last night, Mod Podge Dimensional Magic.  I watched a few YouTube videos on how to use it and since it looked pretty straight forward, I went ahead and tried it on the larger of the two leaves.  It's very thick (in fact, you don't even need "walls" to hold it in place), so I ended up drawing a line down the center of the leaf and using a toothpick to pull it into the points.  Though when I applied it the epoxy was cloudy, this morning the leaf was nice and glossy with a hard finish and slightly domed look.  I also painted the smaller leaf with Delta Ceramcoat Gloss Interior Varnish last night.  It is also glossy and hard, but not domed.  I'm going on a trip for a few days and I'm planning on wearing the necklace to see how the two finishes hold up.