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Enamels - Enamelling 

Enamels: At high temperature in a kiln, several components such as silica are melted together. After crushing the results, we get a fine transparent powder called " fondant " which is close to crystal. Depending of the components, enamels can be opaque or transparent. To make coloured enamels, add metallic oxides to the fondant.

 

Enamelling: The enamels are then placed on metal, which can be copper, silver, gold, steel or rarely bronze, and fired between 780 to 900 degrees Celsius in a kiln, several time in successive layers, according to the enamels or the technique used.

Opaque enamels
Transparent enamels

Several enamelling techniques:

- Enamelling: enamel powders are used in the same manner as a painter uses his paints.

- Cloisonné: a metal wire is placed on a metal sheet, shaped according to a design to separate the colours. Applied by thin layers and fired each time, the enamel powders fill the cavities.

- Champlevé: the metal is engraved in its thickness, to be filled in by thin layers of powders applied and fired each time.

- Basse - taille: the metal sheet is worked before the enamel powders are applied over it. Many techniques can be used like engraving or guilloché.

- Painting: on an enamelled metal piece, the design is made with coloured paints applied with a paint brush, fired several times before to be covered by transparent enamel to protect it.

- Grisaille: a very fine white powder is laid like paint with a needle on a dark background, adding the light areas on a drawing.

- Plique à jour: transparent enamel is applied into metal holes, as the stainless glass effect.

 

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