THERE. That photo got your attention!
Maybe ten or so years ago Shelley and I got a crazy idea that it would be fun to find some inexpensive fashion dolls and dress them up like us and use them for promo. I used to have spikey hair:
I can't believe that hair.....and I can't believe this photo used to actually be on the front page of my website, back around 2004-2005. EGAD!
But I digress....
The thing about glue is:
SOMETIMES YA JUST GOTTA USE IT.
But it's a dilemma. Some of us have profound health concerns and we don't want to use noxious products. I hear ya....I'm a cancer survivor with a whole list of here's-what's-wrong-with-me symptoms. So:
Caution with jewelry making products is important! As a vendor of all manner of things to make jewelry---including glue!--I want, as much as possible, to offer as well as personally USE as much non-toxic stuff as I can.
The best glue to use for dissimilar materials or metal to metal is E-6000. It has stood the test of time for me, as an artist. I have used the stuff for 25 years, and I have work that I made long ago, using it, that looks and holds up as if I made it last month. That's just a fact. You can't argue with success.
The downside of that whole thing is that E6000 IS a carcinogen. It may work great for your jewelry and assemblage work....but! it may not do your body good at all, if you use it daily and don't use care and caution.
Some like the two part epoxies. If they are working for you, then I won't argue with that. Don't think, though, that they are somehow less toxic or less fume-y. They aren't. Also, over the course of time, they well may break down when used with certain materials or grades of metal, forming a yellow crust at the edges of your project, along with yellow, flaking little blobs that, for lack of a better description, make me think of 'glue dandruff'.
E6000 will eat the foil off of foil-backed stones, so you should not use it when setting stones. Use hypotube cement when gluing crystals, stones with foil, watch crystals, glass bubbles, yatta yatta.
Some like a glue called 527 for that application. It's no less fume-y, no less toxic than hypotube and in my opinion, is not as strong. That's why I don't carry it. The test of time for me says 'hypotube'.
With hypotube cement less is more. You don't fill whole entire stone cup with glue and then put the stone down in and hope it will set up and dry, and hold. It will not. Put some on the back of the stone, put some sparingly in your mount, and then set the stone carefully so that none seeps out around the edges and you will be fine.
Hypotube has a skinny, syringe like nozzle with a little pin in it. It will flow quickly once you get the tube started, so 'start' a new tube before you start gluing stuff. Then wipe off the excess, use what you need, wipe the nozzle again, and then replace the pin. Yeah, sometimes the pin will 'glue in'. I hate that. So use some acetone and work it loose.
It's still the best glue for this application.
Are you hoping for a non-toxic solution to glue use? There are a couple:
and a product called "Weldbond". I don't carry both as having tried both I feel one is about as good as the other. So that's for you to decide, maybe get some of both and see what you think.
The thing about Crafter's Pick The Ultimate is that it can freeze in cold, cold weather. We keep it in our heated building, but once it leaves here, if it's winter and super cold, it may need a little help when you get it. Be sure you are around to receive your shipment so it doesn't sit outside in the cold all day for you to get home (honestly, if you are ordering ANY water-based mixed media product in winter that is your rule of thumb, anything like this can freeze including some inks!). When you get it inside, put the bottle of Crafter's Pick in a warm cup of water and let it come up to room temp. So long as it doesn't freeze solid from being left outside on your doorstep, you should be fine.
Weldbond may be the same, I can't say. But they seem to be very similar products. Both are non-toxic and have a good grab. The down side is that they take a really long time to set up. Use them in a warm room. A warm room helps a lot.
Some also use resins as a glue. ICE RESIN can totally be used this way in *some* applications, Diamond Glaze can, as well. My pal, Beanzie, of The Vintage Heart once applied a bunch of little embellishments and charms to a glass perfume bottle with Diamond Glaze. It was so pretty! Or should say, IS, because she still has it and all of the embellishments have stayed in place, none have fallen off.
At the top of the page, in the dolls photo, there is a product I do not carry any longer, and I'm actually glad to hear they don't make it any more now, either. Treasure Crystal Cote was the lacquer I used to use to seal all my assemblage work back years ago.
It might have worked a bit like resin does, as a glue, as well. The biggest problem with it was that its primary ingredient was Benzene, a terrible carcinogen. Even with proper overhead exhaust, you almost needed to use it with a respirator or you'd be high as a kite. I remember WELL the headaches I would get from using it.
Also, we found that some of our little pieces made many moons ago that had generous dousings of it got a yellow cast after about 10 years and many wearings.
Artists are recommending that if you used this product and liked it, you can use another called Royal Coat Dimensional Magic. It is also made by Plaid. I think I will get a bit of it next time I do a mixed media order from one of my distributors and try it. It's soap and water clean up which would mean it's either non-tox or low-tox.
Just a few things to mention in parting, important 'truths' about glue:
1. Less is more in almost every case.
2. Proper technique is important. Sometimes you may wish to sand the surface of the things to be glued for better 'stick'. Be neat, clean up your mess. Nothing looks worse than an assemblage project with glue strings and glue residue showing. UGH.
3. Don't eat, smoke, use flame around glues. If you are drinking something, put it in a container with a lid so nothing can get into it. Best not to be ingesting anything AT ALL when you use glue.
4. Be sure you have air flow: over head exhaust, a fan blowing the stank away from you, an open window or go outside or out into the garage and do your gluing. A nice little air filter running in your workshop is a nice idea. Recently one called the SUPENTOWN AC-30001 Hepa Air Cleaner with Ionizer was recommended at the https://www.facebook.com/groups/bsueboutiquescreativegroup/
Harry Wood of Oscar Crow got one for his workshop and mentioned he thought it was a pretty good bang for the buck. I'm probably going to pop for one myself for down here at our shop one day very soon. At home, in the Messy Workshop, I have heavy-duty overhead exhaust that works really well.
5. Get your rest, eat right, and maybe take some detox herbs to keep anything you consume from your environment (and there are plenty of things inside and out that we ingest, inhale, touch that aren't good for us) moving out of you. I drink Essiac tea everyday. There are a number of brands and I believe it is one of the best detox 'potions' you can brew up. Green tea is good, too.
If you are into natural detox herbs and would like to know more about Essiac tea, here's a good link:
http://essiacfacts.com/ It's up to you if you want to try it; I'm just saying, it helps my digestion to keep things moving along, and I feel better when I take a shot glass of concentrated Essaic every day. It was interesting years ago when I called the Poison Control Board to inquire about E6000 that they said risk of cancer is far, far reduced when you keep the product off your skin, don't inhale or ingest any, and don't use it every day. They told me that allowing a day or two between uses helps the body to rid itself of many toxic substances. So Essiac tea, for me, makes sense, since it helps the detox process.
OH....and one last thing about Essiac tea: NO, it does not taste good. LOL
6. LAST POINT: if you gotta glue, use one that works. Unfortunately the best ones that work are not non-tox. NEVER use hot glue or Elmer's glue to make assemblage jewelry. WHOOPS! Something just fell off. I tried it years ago and quit real quick as a bunch of my work came back to me from very disappointed customers. Just don't even go there. Hot glue is okay for stuff you do with paper or fabric/silk flowers, so if you are making jewelry with that, have at it. Otherwise, just don't go there.
And maybe brush up on your cold connection and wire skills, as you may find ways around the use of glues (and fumey solders) by using wire and rivets.
Here's a book recommend about ALL SORTS of glues:
THE CRAFTER'S GUIDE to GLUES, by TAMMY YOUNG
Okay, now I'm done typing this blog post.