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How to Use Accent Gold on Silver

ACCENT GOLD FOR SILVER Robin Cameron

Accent Gold for Silver paint is used to apply 24-carat pure gold accents to fine-silver jewelery, including pieces made from Aida Art Clay or Mitsubishi PMC silver clay. The AGS bottle contains one gramme of pure gold powder dispersed in a non-toxic water-based binder.

AGS can be applied with a small brush or a shaped tool to an already-fired silver piece. After drying, the piece is fired again to sinter the gold and bond it to the silver. After cooling, the gold can be burnished or given a matte, textured, or lustre finish.

Accent Gold is similar to Aura 22, made by Mitsubishi, except that it's 24 carat gold not 22 carat, easier to work with, and can be thinned with water instead of a special medium.

For most effects, Accent Gold is easier to use and less wasteful than gold leaf, especially on contoured surfaces where gold leaf is hard to apply without tearing it.

For more information, look at www.accentgold.co.uk. However, your dealer should be able to give you advice too.

STORING AGS Accent Gold will last a very long time at room temperature with the top on. You can add a little water to freshen it up, but be very careful not to over-dilute it as it will be too thin to use successfully. To minimize waste, stir it with a piece of thin wire, such as a paper clip. Always keep the bottle the right way up so that the paint settles in the bottom of the jar.

USING AGS WITH ART CLAY OR PMC Before using AGS on Art Clay or PMC, the piece must be fired and allowed to cool. Don't touch the area where you'll apply the paint. And don't polish or burnish the surface first as a little roughness helps adhesion. Generally, apply the AGS with a small brush or a shaped tool in a reasonably smooth, thick layer, which will need firing only once. If you get it on unwanted areas, clean up very carefully with a modeling knife, returning any clean bits to the bottle. It's a good idea to keep a brush just for AGS.

Let the AGS dry. If you can see through the paint, it's not thick enough, so apply a second layer. Dry your piece naturally or in a kiln at about 200°F/95°C. Don't dry the paint too fast, such as with a hair dryer, or it may not adhere well to the silver after firing.

FIRING IN A KILN Fire the piece on a kiln shelf. Preheat the kiln and shelf to 1650°F/900°C. Put the piece on the shelf, close the kiln door, and let the temperature return to 1650°F/900°C: no higher. Fire it for 7 minutes, remove it, and let it cool naturally. If the paint is thin, longer firing may cause discolouration, as the silver diffuses into the gold. It's OK to fire several pieces at once, although the time required for the kiln to return to 1650°F/900°C will be longer if more silver is used. If coverage of the gold is incomplete, apply more AGS in the areas where the silver is showing, dry the piece, and fire it again.

FINISHING After firing, let the piece cool naturally. It can be polished with a burnishing tool, matted with a wire brush, or lustered by tumbling with stainless steel shot in water. If the gold layer comes off the silver piece, the firing temperature may have been too low. Add paint to the bare areas and repeat the firing process.

---------- Robin Cameron lives in picturesque Corfe Castle, Dorset, England. He is a Paragon, Art Clay, and Accent Gold distributor, trading as Kitiki. Thank you, Robin, for generously sharing this information.

Robin Cameron / Talking Technologies / The Eye, Higher Filbank, Corfe Castle BH20 5EX England / VOX: 01929 477137 www.talking.co.uk / mail@talking.co.uk reg: 2675608 England / vat: 538799574

READER RESPONSE: FEAR OF KILNS In last week’s kiln pointer I wrote, “People are afraid of the high temperatures inside kilns. I know of customers who wait for months to fire their new kiln. If the kiln is installed properly and you monitor the kiln during firing, there is no reason to fear it. The heat is contained safely inside the kiln.”

An anonymous reader offered very good advice: “Now I don't feel so odd! I had my kiln at least six months before I got over the fear of firing. I was afraid I wouldn't program it correctly and of the high temperatures. I got over the fear by reading the manual cover to cover, highlighting the sections that pertained to my particular kiln, and just firing. I realized it's actually very user friendly and not all that complicated even when it comes to repairs.

“I recently had someone change elements and thermocouple, and I watched while it was being done. I now say – get to know everything about your kiln--how to operate and repair it (even if you have someone else do the repair). It won't be so mysterious, and you'll realize that your fear was misplaced.”

Joanna Lloyd of Woking, Surrey, England wrote, “I bought my kiln only last November and yes, it did take a few months to summon up the courage to fire up the first time. It’s good to know I am not alone - even though I am over here in England.” (By the way, Woking is the home of H. G. Wells and the setting for the Martian invasion in the original “War of the Worlds.”)

Kathi Martin of Tempe, Arizona wrote, “When I got my first kiln, it sat in my classroom for a year before I ever plugged it in. The warranty had expired and there were problems - too bad for me. It wasn't a Paragon but it was a great lesson.

“Now when I sell a kiln, I preach, ‘Don't be afraid to fire it - you paid good money!’ Sometimes I give the customer a project suggestion as simple as taking two pieces of the same sheet of glass, cut 2 – 4” x 4” pieces, clean them, make sure something is protecting the shelf (paper or wash), and then I give them the exact sequence of programming their controller. Then I tell them to call me and I ‘ooh and ahh’ over their success. Now they're usually ready to go forth and fuse!

“I never forget how scary that first kiln was for me.”

Kathi is with Artistry Glass Studios, 904 N Scottsdale Rd #D, Tempe, AZ 85281 / 480-966-6167 / artistryglass.com

READER RESPONSE: CIRCUIT BREAKERS Last week I wrote, “To reset the circuit breaker, press it all the way to the Off position before you press it back to the On position.”

Manuel R. A. Diaz Rodriguez, a kiln technician in San Antonio, Texas wrote, “Sometimes the breaker will not reset. Even new breakers can be faulty. I just replaced a breaker four times with new ones. The first three were bad from factory.” GSM_ENT@MSN.COM

I hope you enjoy the Accent Gold.

With best wishes,

Arnold Howard Paragon Industries, L.P. – Better Designed Kilns 2011 South Town East Blvd. Mesquite, TX 75149-1122 Voice: 972-288-7557 & 800-876-4328 / Fax: 972-222-0646 ahoward@paragonweb.com / www.paragonweb.com



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