Thursday, October 24, 2013

Making Photo Jewelry: Is the Glaze You're Using Causing Your Images to Turn Blue?

Have you ever made the most beautiful batch of glass photo pendants in trays only to discover a day later that some of them have turned all kinds of blotchy? If you're like me, I've also experienced this and it can be very frustrating. Over the past few years, I've determined what has caused it and how to prevent it. The good news is, it's easy and affordable and blotchy papers are avoidable.

In the past, the solutions meant we would first coat our pendant trays, typically the vintage plated pieces, with a clear varnish. That's an extra step and extra product, and we all know that means extra money. That's outdated and old school.

First, let me explain why the pendant trays turn colors. The vintage gold and vintage copper pendant trays are plated with real metals that are reacting to (most likely) the water in the water based glazes. Moisture and oxidation cause copper to turn green-ish blue and it's the oxidation that makes copper such a beautiful material to work with in architecture. But lets be honest, we're not wanting the beautiful effect of oxidation on our papers. It's just not...beautiful. The vintage gold pendant trays are actually plated with bronze, and bronze also changes colors as it oxidizes. To use water based glazes on these pieces is where the problem is occurring.

So if water based glazes cause the papers to turn blue and green, then what should you use? The answer is to use a product that isn't water based.

There are two easy-to-use affordable options that will not turn your pendant trays and papers funny blue-ish, green-ish colors.

Option 1: Glamour Seal is a liquid adhesive and sealant that is used to glue the paper to the glass, and to glue the glass into the pendant tray. One product does it all and costs the same as a bottle of water based glaze. It's just as easy to use and equally as affordable as the water based glaze you may already be using. Another added benefit? You can use this adhesive to make photo jewelry with inkjet prints! Can your glaze do that?

Option 2: Glamour Stickies is a relatively new product (Spring of 2013) that has quickly grown in popularity. This dry adhesive is incredibly strong and contains no water. It's also archival, meaning it's pH neutral and contains no acid to yellow your papers. Peel and stick and press into place. Glamour Stickies also work well to attach paper to just about anything, including your scrapbooks!