Enamel jewelry and art go back thousands of years. These were and still are created in many different parts of the world. Perhaps the best known form for modern jewelry makers are cloisonne beads from China. But you can also make your own.
The Victoria and Albert Museum of Design (London, UK) has a wonderful video which shows how Jane Short created the enamelled brooch below. She uses two other styles of enamelling. The top intricate half of the design uses the champlevé technique where the glass fills the hollows or "cells" in the metal. (This is different from cloisonne work which uses wire frames). The bottom half deploys the basse-taille technique where the engraved metal is covered over with transparent enamel
|Enamelled brooch by Jane Short|
|Close up of brooch showing the basse-taille work|
Yet another technique is plique-a-jour - French for "glimpse of day". It's basically equivalent to stained glass where the enamel is suspended between wires. This is the most difficult of all the enamel techniques. The translucent effect is stunning. Art Nouveau artists like René Lalique and Louis Comfort Tiffany used this technique to design some of their masterpieces.
Below is the 1900 Lalique anemone brooch which fetched nearly $150,000 at a Sotheby's auction last year. It was created with gold and enamel plique-a-jour.
|Starfish design by Amy Roper Lyons|
Before You Go :
- Victoria and Albert Museum of Design
- Chinese Cloisonne - The Stained Glass Style of Bead Making
- Rockettoro's Handmade Glass Vase Pendants
Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
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