Note: Necklace is not included.
French for “cloison” or “cell.” A process in which precious metal wires are bent to form a design; enamel is then inlaid into the resulting “cloisons.”
Enamel (glass) is crushed to a powder somewhat finer than granulated sugar. Fine silver or 24K gold fine ribbons of wire are placed onto an enameled surface and fired in a kiln to hold their position. After the wires are fired in place thin layers of colored enamel are packed into each cell using a fine sable brush or special tools and then fired in a kiln at 1475 degrees Fahrenheit for 3 minutes. This process is repeated until the enamels reach the top of the wires. The beautiful depth in the enamel piece is created by blending and shading the finely ground enamels and from the repeated firings. As many as 20 firings can go into each piece. Once the enameling process is complete, the enameled piece is ground and polished.
The earliest known enameled articles are 6 enameled gold rings dating from the 13th century BC, discovered in a Mycenaean tomb at Kouklia, Cyprus. Later, religious works were enameled during the Byzantine era in the 6th sentury AD. In China, cloisonné has been used since the 13th century AD. Limoges, France became famous for champlevé enamels from the 12th century onwards, producing on a large scale, and then from the 15th century retained its lead by switching to painted enamel on flat metal plaques. In the 19th century Faberge eggs, which combine jewels with enamels, reached world fame.
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