Cold Enamel is a term used to describe resin that gives the effect of traditional enamel without the need for a kiln. You can use this product on a range of different surfaces including paper, glass, metal, fabric and many more.
We hold monthly groups and workshops at Upper Sheringham Village Hall to get you started in resin jewellery making.
We stock a range of resins and colour pastes to suit all jewellery making and craft projects in our website store. We also sell a range of these products at our pop-up shop. We also stock resin accessories including moulds, Angelina fibres, gilding flakes, jewellery mounts and mixing equipment.
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Our CHEMSET® enamel is an Epoxy resin produced by RF Bright Enterprises. It consists of 2 main parts, a resin and a hardener that is mixed 2 parts resin to 1 part hardener by weight.
We stock Low viscosity Type A resin (CHEMSET® ES 8103) which is suitable for large areas and can be blended with our transparent coloured resins, metallic and pearl resins and can also be coloured with Opaque Colour Pastes. To cure successfully Type A resin must be used with Type A Hardener (CHEMSET® ES 8204).
Transparent coloured resin, metallic resins and pearl resins are all premixed with Low Viscosity resin. Like the clear resin these should be mixed 2 parts resin to 1 part hardener. For example: 10g resin + 5g hardener = 15g combined and ready to use.
Colour pastes can be added to clear resin to give it an opaque coloured effect. These pastes can be mixed together like paint to create a wide range of colours. Colour pastes are not premixed with resin. The colour paste should be no more than 5% of the total combined resin and colour paste mix.
For example: 9.5g resin mixed with 0.5g colour paste = 10g coloured resin. This should be mixed with 5g hardener.
Make sure you work in a dust free, well ventilated area.
The enamel and its components are irritants so protect your hands with Arretil barrier cream, LINDESA® Skin Protection Cream or nitrile gloves which will stop the enamel from sticking to your hands. Always wash your hands (and any other areas of skin that come in contact with the product) thoroughly with soap, do not use solvents or thinners.
Protect your work area and clothes when using resin as they will be difficult to clean if they come in contact.
Place the object you want to enamel onto a level base such as an acrylic block. This will not react to the heat produced by the chemical reaction of the resin curing. To prevent it moving around while you are adding the resin put a small amount of blue-tac around the object being careful not to get it near the edge of the area where the resin will go.
Mixing the resin
- Place a mixing cup on the scales then re-zero the scales.
- Pour the amount of resin required into a mixing cup (may include colour paste).
- Pour the hardener into the mixing cup (this should be 50% of the total resin weight).
- Stir carefully until fully mixed making sure you get into the edges of the cup. Let this stand for about 5 minutes, I find this allows any bubbles introduced by the mixing process to dissipate.
- Apply enamel to the surface with either a lollipop mixing stick or cocktail stick if it's a very small area. Any bubbles can be dispersed wafting the flame from a gas burner briefly over the surface. Chemset resin is non-flammable.
Always stand the plastic cups containing the mixed enamel on a protective surface, preferably metal. This is because the enamel begins to set about 45 minutes after mixing and during this time a chemical reaction is occurring which may generate a lot of heat that can melt the cup and damage your working surface.
After the resin and hardener have been mixed together you will have approximately 45 to 60 minutes to use it. The amount of usable time will vary according to the amount of material you have mixed and the temperature of the room. The warmer the room the quicker it will cure.
Hardening will occur overnight (16 hours) at room temperature which should not be allowed to drop below 18C during this process. I like to place a cover over the top of my resin jewellery as it cures to prevent dust settling on the surface. Should air bubbles be present prior to curing these can be removed by wafting the flame from a gas burner briefly over the surface.
Our resins don't stick to acetate, if you have any mixed enamel left over from your project empty it out onto a sheet of acetate. Once cured peel it off and use in future designs.
Photographs and craft papers look great in clear resin. Seal the paper with thin layers of ModPodge or colourless hairspray and leave to dry thoroughly before adding the resin. If an image is not completely sealed it may become blurred over time.
All sorts of things can be embedded in resin such as watch parts, gemstones, Angelina fibres, shells and even lace! Use an epoxy glue to secure your pieces so they don't rise to the surface when you add the resin. Never use superglue.
Casting into moulds
If you want to get more depth to your jewellery or encase something larger you can use a silicon mould. We stock a selection of moulds in different shapes and sizes that can be used for at least 50 castings and give a super smooth finish. Flexable silicone sugar craft moulds also work well.