Who-o-o Would Have Thought?
Enamel adds another type of interest to fine jewelry
Clever and talented artisans flaunt their prowess by demonstrating their creativity when it comes to original jewelry creations. Besides the metal design which holds gemstones, they also can opt for diamonds and stones in unique shapes to support their design.
How It's Done
But woefully, not much attention is paid to a superb skill--enameling. This art employs the use of colored pulverized glass. When applied to a metal frame and fired in a kiln to liquefy the glass and cooled to harden it--a remarkable layer of realism emerges.
Notice the enamel feathers on our owl brooch here. By artfully placing the different colors and tones of enamel glass powder on the form, a natural looking shading occurs on the owl's vivid feathers.
An Oldie But Goodie
While it's not a new technique by any means--the lack of using this art form today means that many jewelry lovers are not exposed to the intricate craft.
Medallion of St Demetrios at Paris' Le Louvre Museum
The gold and enamel medallion shown here is from the Byzantine era, circa 1100 AD. Subject matters used in jewelry have changed over the centuries but the technique of enameling has remained pretty much the same. If you're an antique or vintage jewelry lover, finding these items may prove to be the best way to get an up-close observation of this ancient art.