Saturday, May 25, 2013

Discs with Powder Paint for your projects

We've just posted a few new items to our shop that will add lots of color to your jewelry projects. 1 inch and 7/8 inch discs with powder coat on both sides. These are made with Aluminum so they are very light to wear making them perfect to add lots of color to a piece without making the piece to heavy.

Here are sample earrings that Amy made with the 7/8 inch discs and rectangles and her wonderful beaded beads.

Check our shop often as we'll be adding more colors and shapes soon!!

Keep you oven door closed, A&J

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Mixing Colors - Part 1

Hello again from the the other half of Toaster Oven Art.

I love color.  My wardrobe is full of bright colors.  I am also known for the wonderful color combinations I put together in my beadwork.  I have enough tubes of seed beads to open a store.

I am blessed with an innate sense of color.

So I wondered if you mix powder coating powders together will you create a third color, or lighter color. So I decided to experiment.

Here is the resulting powder mix.

More specifically lime or chartreuse are favorites.  When we first started to experiment last summer, we started with primary colors.

So I mixed one part  Signal Green and one part Traffic Yellow. 


As you can see in the resulting close-up of the cured powder coated pieces, the powders don't blend to create a lighter color, but lay next to each other creating an illusion of a lighter color.

More posts on custom colors coming soon!

Remember, keep your oven door closed.  A & J

Friday, April 5, 2013

Hot Coating: Domes, Dishes and other oddities

So far we have shown how to powder coat flat surfaces but inevitably we want to do a dome or concave shape, we are artist after all and the world still isn't flat. So this post will be about a technique called hot coating, essentially heating the piece up and applying the powder coat. Odd shapes are coated with a static gun everyday, the benefit of charged particles and static attraction.  But then we get into the expenses of compressors and guns and we're trying to keep this as simple and minimal as possible. So hang on here we go.

Our first picture is of a dome that has been coated and then placed into the oven, but in placing it in the oven much of the coat slipped off and well one of these days we'll have to post a photo of the inside of our poor colorful oven. The dome turned out very spotty and without a nice even coat. To solve this we're going to put the pieces in the oven to heat them up and then sift powder coat over them and let it flow / melt.

Starting with a few different shapes so we can test steep sides verses shallow domes we place the 4 test subjects in the oven. Wet Black is used in this example and it cures at 400 degrees so we set the oven to the cure temp and set the timer to roughly 5 to 10 minutes, just enough to heat them up.

Once we hear the happy ding of our timer we use tweezers to move the pieces over to where were coating and place them on some screen. These are hot so don't place them on anything that can't take the heat. We take the sifter with powder coat and sprinkle the coat around the edges and working towards the center till an even coat is applied. Since these are small and easy to coat quickly we did them all at once but if your doing several or just playing around at first you can leave the extras in the oven to keep them warm while you do each piece individually.

Once a even coat is applied, we let the pieces cool so we can place them back in the oven without marring the surface with tweezers marks. Now that all the pieces are ready for the final cure we set our timer for the cure time plus a few minutes for them to heat up again and let them cure. Here's our four pieces after the oven cure is finished.

Alternative Methods;
Using a small crafter heat gun we have been able to heat the pieces quickly and apply the coat. The problems are guessing what the temp of the piece is so it is more of a trail and error process. Also you are heating up the surface below it allowing the powder coat to stick to it also. Remember a clean shop and tools make for easier work or so Amy keeps telling me.

We've also tried a small butane torch but ended up with oxidation, fire scale, on the pieces before we could coat them so torches aren't the best for this technique.

Keep your oven door closed, A&J


Thursday, January 3, 2013

Powder Coat Jewelry Experiments

The holidays were a good time to take off from our regular crafts and continue working with Powder Coat. Here's the photos from some of the creations we made.

We've said that our attempts at enameling lead us to working with powder coat and to that end the first photos shows several pieces with Cloisonné wire. We even used the Cloisonné glue for the wires with no effect to the powder coat, just be sure to dry the glue or bubbles will appear when curing. We used a copper wire to create the designs and then clear coated the pieces for a nice shiny effect.

We brought out the disk cutter and dapping block for the second photo and all these pieces are made of 22 gauge aluminum. We used the dapping block to create the domes and then polished them up nicely, then applied powder coat to the background disk, flowed it and applied the top domes and cured them using the powder coat to glue the pieces together. The flatter pieces again are two pieces where we applied the powder coat to each, flowed them and put them to together and cured them. These pieces also have the clear coat applied to them as a second coat after curing the first coat.

Here's a list of powder coat colors (with convenient links) we used in these pieces:

If you have questions about any of the designs leave us a comment and we'll make a instruction sheet for that design.

Keep your oven door closed, A&J

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Powder Coating with Rubber Stamps

Hi there – from the other half of TOA.  It has been several months since I have experimented.  Gone are the days of the powder coating, sifting powders and toaster oven baking out on the patio.

So down to the basement studio I go.  Our basement is not heated, so I prepare for an expedition.  On go the two layers of turtlenecks, flannel-lined blue jeans and down slippers.  I am ready.

Can you powder coat a rubber stamped image onto a piece of metal?
  • Coat a metal blank with powder and toast to cure.
  • Stamp an image onto the cured piece with clear embossing ink.
  • Sift a contrasting powder color onto the image.  
  • Shake and blow off excess – and toast again.

So does it work?  Yes with mixed results.

First off – find appropriate rubber stamps to fit the metal blanks – get sidetracked looking at the stamps – return to basement an hour later.

I choose a geometric image that fits the metal blank. 

I pick colors that are pleasing and that are already open, since we are both experimenting.

I sift on the pale green and bake for 10 minutes at 400 degrees.  After it cools I stamp the image onto the green with the clear embossing ink pad.  Then I sift a light coat of the curry yellow over the piece.  I knock off the excess and blow on it.  It looks good.   No excess powder on the unstamped surface.  This then bakes for 10 minutes at 340 degrees, the curing temperature for the curry yellow. 

Out it comes from the oven and cools.   Curry yellow over the pale green worked.  It has a matte finish, which I like, but not much contrast between the colors. (Note to self, pick colors with more contrast.) 

I flip it over and try again, this time using the curry yellow as the base coat, and pale green on the stamped image.

The effect is again subtle, but this time there is more shine.  

Yep, this piece baked 4 times.  Nothing melted or stuck to the baking rack.  You are pretty safe once the piece has cured.

Part 2.  More Contrast

We have snow here – and are expecting more, so I figure I could still use my snowflake rubber stamps.  My
set of Martha Stewart snowflake stamps is still out, used in holiday projects.

My colors of choice blue beacon  and wet bright white, which bake/cure for 10 minutes at 400 degrees.

Once cooled, I stamp the snowflake image onto each piece using a clear embossing ink pad.

I sift the contrasting color onto the stamped image. I try not to make the sifted coating over the stamped snowflake design too thick.  I knock the excess off and blow on it slightly to remove more.  

Since it doesn't blow off as cleanly as I want, I wipe it off and try again, and again and again.  Then I thought, this is just experimentation, so go with it and see what happens.

I like the effect of the excess powder, (kind of a snowstorm look) but I still would like to get a clean image with no excess, so the experimentation will continue.  

 Keep your oven door closed, A&J 

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Two Tone Experiment

We've been working with 2 tone or mixing colors lately and it seemed like a good way to explain how we are using powder coat and to explain the different states of coating. The first photo shows the 4 states of powder coat curing:

  • Powder: The coating is sifted on to the metal square.
  • Eggshell: The piece is placed in the oven for a few minutes till the powder begins to melt.
  • Flow Out: The piece is left in the oven a bit longer till the powder melts completely and begins to flow.
  • Cured: The piece has been full cured for 10 minutes after the flow out stage.
  • Half Coat: For demo purposes we coated half of the metal with white powder and then will add the red.
To add the red we simply covered half of the metal square with a business card (LBbyJ of course) sifted the powder on to it and removed the card leaving half red / half white. We have used a corrugated metal piece here to make it easier to pick the piece up with tweezers and wax paper so we can reuse the excess powder.

So how did it turn out, looking at the last photo here are some thoughts:
  • Powder: Some white came through the red giving it a speckled look.
  • Eggshell: Again some white speckles came through might need a heavier coat.
  • Flow Out: Still a few speckles of white again a heavier coat would be better.
  • Cured: Looks good with no speckles.
  • Half Coat: Also looks very good.
In the end we think that putting a heavier coat on any of them would have help reduce the speckles of white. For ease of use / design though we say that either flow out or cured would be the best. Why, well let's say you made a mistake, happens sometimes, with the background cured already you can clean off the mistake and reapply the second color without having to start over or waste powder.

Keep your oven door closed, A&J

Thursday, December 27, 2012

New Colors and Kits

Sorry it has been awhile since we updated, we both have been busy with our regular crafts but decided to take time off for the holidays.

A few months back we ordered new colors and they've been patiently waiting in the box for us. Well we finally have posted them to our website as individual colors or in collections of colors. The ones we are most excited about are the Fashion collection, the photo to the right.

So what did we get:

Fashion Colors:
Antique Pink
Blue Lilac
Pale Green
Lemon Yellow
Pale Turquoise
Salmon Pink
Black Cherry

Metallic Collection: (The red and green are new colors and then we grouped the metallics together for a collection of colors)
Red Metallic Vein Copper Vein
Green Metallic Vein
Penny Metallic Vein
Bonded Silver Vein
Gold Metallic Vein

Primary Color Collection:
Signal Green
Traffic Yellow
Traffic Red
Signal White
Jet Black
Signal Blue

We've also created a Collection Starter Kit with sifters and scrubbing pad to make it a little easier to get up and going. Keep your oven door closed, A&J