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I began torching back in 1998 when I bought acetylene and oxygen torches to make candle holders out of post consumer tin cans. In 2007 I was dealing with metal toxicity in my system so I began to research different ways to cut and paint the metal. I am very happy with the new technique of cutting with water as there is now nothing airborne in the process to imbalance the environment, making me and our team healthier. As well with powder coating I have been able to completely avoid toxins in the Jendala studio.
So, what's the difference?
Hand torched metal cuts the metal with fire and remelts most of the metal back into the art piece. I cannot make a flat uniform metal part that is cut with a torch as the slag remains a part of the charm. I hand torch all custom orders (unless you order 20 or more) and hand paint these as well. Here is a link to the process of how I torch: http://www.wikihow.com/Use-a-Cutting-Torch
The original hand-painted items are also more organic in texture and color. Hand-painting is a lengthly process of layering coats of paint to achieve a finished piece. While each color matches the colors used in the powder-coating I add white to give the piece more dimension. All hand torched pieces are hand painted.
All of my product line is water-jet where the metal is cut with water and garnet in a large vat of water. Instead of metal slag in the torched process, the water jet cuts the metal completely out so that the piece is flat with no raised finish. This is very exciting to me because I am able to greatly expand my product line, now making garden stakes, pet tags, bookmarks, etc. that require a flat surface. The majority of the product line is in the torched font and the final piece is consistent and smooth. This metal surface allows for the powder coating process. Here is a link that shows the process of the water jet: http://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/energy/question553.htm
Powder coating is one of the most durable and eco-friendly way I have found to paint metal. A magnetic powder is sprayed on to electromagnetically charged pieces. The powder adhears and spreads onto the metal and is then baked in a large oven. There are many perks to powder coating, first and foremost there is very little if no over spray and the color is very consistent and durable. Jendala colors are all custom. Here is a link that demonstrates the process: http://www.wikihow.com/Powder-Coat