I learned about sand blasting and powder-coating today! It was the second session of my Color on Metal class at Lillstreet Art Center.
Powder-coating looks like paint; you might recognize it from cars, home appliances, etc.. Apparently, it’s actually a type of resin, or plastic. You conduct a little electricity through the piece, spray it, and then put it in an oven or kiln at 300°F, and it turns out looking like this!
The class seems to go really fast, so this week I brought some pieces with me that were ready to go. I made the purple and green samples shown here, and the teacher used one of my pieces of textured copper to make the pink one.
The sandblaster is loud (it requires a pretty big compressor) and I love the finish it gives the metal. BUT, it’s not a necessary step. About half my pieces were sanded with 80 grit sandpaper to give it some tooth, and those worked just as well.
In the remaining pictures, you see a little bit more about the set up and the process.
My mind is buzzing with all of the possibilities!
Here are some of the color samples:
I had wondered how this would compare to enameling. I feel like it requires more equipment, but once you get the hang of it, it is less fussy than enamel, I think. This feels solid, and the colors are really dense. I like it – but it definitely doesn’t have the luminosity of enamel. Though you can add base coats and/or top coats to give the color more depth.
I really enjoyed the class, and I would like to work with the equipment again. Though I am not sure I would buy my own set up – it is really messy and it takes a fair amount of space.