Atlanta Antique Gallery - Bakelite

Jewelry - Bakelite
Bakelite is a phenolic resin that was produced in a multitude of colors, commonly yellow, brown, butterscotch, green and red. Omitting the pigment could produce a transparent or translucent effect known as "apple juice". The resin could be molded or cast, depending on variations in the formula. For molding, the formula was cooked until resinous, spread out in thin sheets to harden, then ground to a fine consistency. At this point, powdered fillers and pigment were added, to enable the resin to be molded and to add color. This mixture was then put through hot rollers, which created large sheets of colored, hardened resin. These sheets were then ground into a very fine powder, which was molded under high head and pressure into the final product form. As molded materials the resin’s drawback was the limited range of colors, which could be created. For casting, the formula was modified slightly, enabling the resin to be poured into lead molds and then cured in ovens until it polymerized into a hard substance. The liquid resin could be tinted to any color or "marbleized" by mixing two colors together.
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