Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Beads from Panda Hall for PWF

My order from Panda hall came Monday. I ordered different finishes and contents to test which works best for the PWF technique. I have them all checked in an put away/organised.
  I have divided them up into nickel free and not nickel free, the success of the beads depends hugely on the content of the beads ( iron, copper, alloy etc......), and then different finishes within those groups. I am hoping panda hall is accurate in their descriptions :)

The first group I tried was beads with nickel, in the finish "nickel". I had mixed results, I wouldn't say they were overly successful, nor would I say they were a disaster. My favorite bead in the group (shape,look wise) fired ok but didnt seem to accept the enamel willingly (first 2 photos). It took a few layers, 4, and still they look under covered. I specifically stayed with the same colors of enamel to  help gauge the results as I think the different enamels have different rates of success. I will try another color combo with this bead and see what that does in the next round of testing.

Some of the beads in this group took the enamel great and look awesome, well covered and shiny (round bead in first 2 photos, 3rd and 5th photo). While others seemed to have the same trouble I have with the black finish, although not as marked a problem as the black.  The smooth round that I ordered enameled great, so pretty and shiny, but one of them shed the entire coat of enamel almost immediately (4th photo) while a second bead already has the tell tale crack lines. 2 of them look fine , still pretty and no cracks, but I am holding my breath. Interestingly enough the 2nd and 3rd smooth bead I did, I did do in a different color scheme, for something different, not as a part of the testing. These are the beads that didnt chip (last photo).

HMMMMM........  so many variables!

The nickel free beads were clearly more successful. They fired well and they covered well. The beads I tested nickel free were in the antique bronze finish. They were filigree and the pumpkin, or corrugated type.

That is all the beads I ordered. I have bead caps and flowers and such to try in different finishes. I will continue to post my results. I have ordered some new enamel colors that should be here in about 10-12 days. I ordered white so I will be able to use a white base coat instead of trying to use the off white. I don't think the off white works well AT ALL, in any finish, any content, or any other variables. Is any one having success with off white?

Oh, and also, yes the order arrived with vegetable matter mixed in with the beads, this seemed to only be in the antique bronze finish ( the one that works best so far, of course!)
 I fired one. I first let it burn until the fire extinguished itself thinking that would mean all the stuff inside was gone. I was wrong. I enameled it and it enameled fine, but some of the stuff inside stuck into the enamel by poking out the holes and left a bumpy surface so before I can use them I have to figure out what to do with the "stuff" inside. Anyone have an idea? Anyone experience this?

More as the testing continues.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, Danielle! Thought I'd pop over to your blog from the PWF Workshop site.
    I have a theory about the vegetable matter. They may be tumble polishing the beads with the vegetable matter. It might also be how they antique the bronze. You can moisten sawdust with ammonia and bury your metal in that to patinate it.
    To get rid of it, you could put it in a plastic jar and shake them till it falls out or if you have a rock tumbler, you could put them in there and tumble them alone. I just haven't met up with this yet.
    Hope this helps. Patricia