Coming up this month, metal artists of all levels can learn how to add clean, durable color to their work, in a weekend workshop with instructor Ashley Buchanan.
In this new two-day workshop, students will learn the basics of powder coating, a finish applied to the surface of metal work. They’ll have a chance to experiment with the process and discuss the equipment needed for their own powder coating set-up. Read more about what powder coating is and how you can use it in our Q&A with the instructor, below:
What is powder coating, and what can I use it for?
Ashley Buchanan: Powder coating is a process of coating an object, usually metal, with a dry, pigment powder that is applied electrostatically and then cured under heat. It is commonly used on an industrial scale because of its uniform and durable finish. It is a great way for jewelers and sculptors to add color and even texture to their work. Powder coating is also a fairly quick process and is ideal for production jewelers because multiple pieces can be powder-coated at the same time.
There are many benefits to powder coating:
A high-quality, uniform, durable finish
A large selection of colors and finishes
Quick application and curing time
Low curing temperature
No solvents used, so it’s better for the environment
Who can take the workshop?
The workshop is open to all levels — no prior knowledge of powder coating, enameling or painting is needed.
Students should bring examples of their own work that they would like to powder coat, as well as small metal samples with which to experiment. (Any metal that will carry a charge and can withstand heat of 450 degrees is suitable: silver, copper, steel, brass, nickel, aluminum, etc.) Each student will have access to the jewelry studio as well as a small amount of metal to work with during the workshop. Participants are encouraged to bring lots of items; the more metal objects we have, the more we can powder coat! All pieces should be no larger than 6″ x 7″ x 10″ in order to fit inside the curing oven. A variety of colors and finishes will be provided.
Selective Piercing Neckpiece, hand-cut brass, powder coat, and sterling silver by Ashley Buchanan.
How would you describe your own jewelry? How do you use powder coating in your work?
I utilize powder coating in my work for its durability, clean coating and uniform surface. I feel that by combining iconic silhouettes with hand-cut metal and finally the industrial process of powder coating, I am able to reference history and speak to the tradition of craft while maintaining a contemporary aesthetic.