Codex Pins was created by a science fiction and fantasy fan who enjoys owning and creating beautiful things. The designs on this page are create by the owner and by various other artists to bring the owner’s visions to life. The enamel pins are then created by a trusted pin manufacturer who creates high-quality pins, and then the pins are customized and packaged lovingly by the owner and sent straight to you in luxury packaging. Enjoy your new collection of lore and fiction based enamel pins!
What are enamel pins?
Enamel pins are symbols made out of metal, filled with solid enamel color paint, which have a sharp pin on the back. They are similar to jewelry in that they are often creative and inspiring, but do not have a practical use.
Why do you collect and create enamel pins?
Enamel pins are small works of art. While some inspire, others amuse, and still others provide commentary about the world around us. Unlike many other pop culture fan products, enamel pins are small and can easily be stored and displayed, and they are not considered toys or novelties.
What is the process of designing a pin?
While manufacturing printed art is fairly easy, creating a pin is a large time and money investment. The process starts with the design – the owner either designs and draws the pin themselves or works with an artist to tell a story through art. Designing art for a pin has specific requirements, including working with the smaller size requirements, and designing line art that will work with the enamel paint filling. Second is the coloring process. Enamel paint will be placed in each of the sections of the pin, so the owner carefully chooses which colors and type of enamel will be used in each section and creates a mockup for the pin with solid colors. Choosing the number of colors is also a large task, as only certain colors may be used, and the more colors added to the pin, the more expensive the pin will be to produce. Third, the metal type, enamel type, final size, pin back, and edition quantity must be decided, with careful consideration based on the manufacturing and design. Fourth, all this information and the multiple design mockups must be sent to the pin manufacturer, and the owner will work directly with the wonderful plate designer who will design in 3D and then 3D-print the one-of-a-kind metal plate which will serve as the stamp and shape to create the pin. Fifth, the manufacturer will use the pin plate to create the metal pins without any color, by punching metal, and then welding the pin back on, and plating the metal. Sixth, the pins will be hand-painted with enamel. Seventh, the completed limited-edition pins will be sent to the owner, who will then package your pins in custom-made packaging that’s as nice as the luxury pins you will be receiving. You can then gift this to a friend, or add it to your own collection.
How can you display enamel pins?
Enamel pins are most often displayed on a pin board. The best pin boards are made out thicker corkboard which is at least half of an inch thick, so it is thick enough to hold the pin’s back. For a luxury look, purchase a cork board that has been covered with black fabric like velvet or canvas. Cork boards allow you to display and sort your pins simply by pushing them in, without having to worry about the clutch that holds the pin in place. Pin boards can have a stand, or be hung on the wall. Pin boards can be framed or unframed, and come in many different shapes and sizes.
Another way to display your pins is on a fabric banner. The banner can be in many shapes, but the most common is a tabard shape, similar to a medieval banner. The banner often hangs from a wooden stick, which is in turn hung from a string from a nail or hook on your wall. This method requires that the pin back be used to keep the pin from falling off.
Fabric can also be stretched over a sewing hoop to create a hoop display, which will keep the fabric taught, but still require the pin back to be attached to keep the pins on. Collectors often like using a hoop for its round shape which can not be easily achieved with a hanging banner.
Pins are usually not displayed behind glass, as the glare from the glass can make it difficult to see their fine details and color. As pins lie flat against the wall, they usually do not have a high chance of breaking, unless they are not firmly attached to the board or banner. However, a glass case can make keeping dust away from your pins easier.
You can make a very economical pin board out of foam core board from a craft or general store – but foam boards will show the holes of every place you have every placed and removed a pin, so they are not recommended. They also can get easily scuffed or dirty compared to the other options, but are a quick and easy way to get started displaying your pins!
How can you clean the dust from your enamel pin board?
The easiest way to remove dust from your enamel pin board is to use a vacuum. If you are using a cork board, push all your pins in and make sure they are all firmly attached. Remove any tiny pins for additional security. If you have a hanging banner or hoop, make sure all your pin back are firmly attached and no pins are loose. Remove any loose pins.
Once all pins are secure, gently vacuum your pin board. Do not scrape the pins with your vacuum nozzle, instead, hold the nozzle close to the pins without touching them. Use the tube attachment, not the bristle or brush attachment of the vacuum cleaner. If you have a powerful vacuum, make sure it is set to a gentle setting. For any additional dust, you can use a feather duster or similar soft object to brush away remaining dust, or if you have a fabric board, you can gently use a piece of tape to grab on to any pieces of lint or dust that the vacuum did not catch. Roll the tape in a circle around two of your fingers, with the sticky part facing out, then gently tap the fabric with the sticky tap multiple times – do not try and rub the fabric with the tape, especially if it is a furry type of fabric like velvet.
Can you wear enamel pins?
Enamel pins can be worn, but wearing pins may give them extra wear and tear and if not worn carefully, may fall off and become lost. If you plan on wearing a pin on a backpack or jacket and leaving it on, it’s highly recommended to use a locking pin-back, which is a special type of back for the pin which is made of metal and tightens around the pins post, and it can only be opened and closed using a small tool. If you use a normal pin back, it is very likely that your pin may fall off even just with regular movement, whether it is on a backpack or your shirt. Unfortunately, locking pin backs can damage the pins if they are repeatedly opened and closed. Locking pin backs are not recommended to be used on collector’s art pins, as they can damage the pin, so it’s not recommended to wear valuable pins. Enamel pins can also be scratched, especially if they have a shiny finish. As art pins are often the most beautiful types of pins, collectors often want to show them off by wearing them – the safest place to wear a pin is usually on the lapel (you may have heard the term “lapel pin”) where it is highly visible and away from the hands, feet. and ground.
What is hard enamel vs soft enamel?
Soft enamel pins have a dip in the pins surfaces where enamel color is applied. Soft enamel pins are less durable. When you touch a soft enamel pin, you can feel each of the metal lines that makes up the design.
Hard enamel pins have the enamel color lies flush with the metal of the pin. Hard enamel pins are higher quality and more durable over time, and is more resistant to scratching. When you touch a hard enamel pin, you can barely feel the metal lines of the design.
If the pin designer likes the aesthetics of the soft enamel pin, there is a third option where a soft enamel pin is made, and then covered with an epoxy dome. In this style of pin, a clear epoxy is poured over the top of the pin creating a bubble. The different in the height of the enamel and metal are still visible, but the entire pin feels smooth to the touch.
Each type of enamel creates a different effect and the artist will choose one based on the vision they want to bring to life. All Codex Pins are made with Hard Enamel.
What are the sizes of enamel pins?
Enamel pins can range from very small practical wearable pins to large collector’s items that are meant to be displayed as works of art.
- 0.75 inch pins are the size of a penny
- 1 inch pins are the size of a quarter and perfect for lanyards
- 1.25 inch pins are the size of a half dollar
- 1.5 inch pins are the size of 2 pennies put together side to side
- 2 inch pins are quite large and the largest meant to be worn, they usually have two sharp pins on the back instead of just one
- larger pins are meant to be displayed!
What are “seconds” pins? A, B C grade pins?
Each pin is created individually and the enamel is hand-painted. Occasionally, lower quality pins are produced and the creator often pulls them out of the available product. However, fans of the pin can often still purchase these “seconds” or lower grade pins that may have small imperfections, if the high-quality pins are sold out or if they do not mind small imperfections in return for a small discount. A grade is considered the correct quality the designer was hoping to receive, B grade has slight imperfections like a light scratch or color error, and C grade will have more noticeable imperfections. Serious collectors will want to search for A grade pins, while casual collectors are often happy with B grade pins or “seconds”.
Codex Pins does not offer seconds or B / C grade pins.
What type of packaging is included from Codex Pins?
If you are purchasing a pin, you will receive your pin in a black velvet bag which will protect it from being scratched. You can also store it in the included plastic zip-bag included with your order as it will also help prevent scratches if you do not want to store the entire black velvet bag. To display this pin, you will want to obtain a pin board or banner, or pin it to an article of clothing with a locking pin back. Codex Pins produces larger art-quality pins, and they are large enough to be seen even if you place them directly on a desk or shelf, slightly propped up by their pin back.