Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Enameled Jewelry: Hooray For Champleve!

One of the enameling techniques which I learned last year was champleve. I've written about this before, but basically, you engrave or etch a depression into a thick piece of metal and then fill that space with enamel so that the glass and metal are even. The effect is quite beautiful and allows you to display the metal, which often gets hidden when enameling.

Well, I always get very excited when I see enameling techniques used outside of my class. This weekend, my husband and I visited The Cloisters which are by 190th street, but are part of The Metropolitan Museum Of Art. Believe it or not, this was my first time there, even though I've lived in or near the city for almost my entire life. I enjoyed walking around, but was especially happy when I saw some Medieval champleve pieces on display. Of course, I went into full dork mode as I called to Jon, "Look, look, look!" Him: "OK, that's nice." Me: "You don't understand. It's champleve! I know how to do this!"

Yeah, I do know HOW to do champleve, but I wouldn't call myself "skilled." These pieces were amazing and filled with so many intricate details. The designs were so precise, you could barely tell the metal from the glass; the materials wove together perfectly.

I could've stood there staring at the champleve all day, but we wanted to tour the grounds and make sure we got to see all of the exhibits. Still, I'm proud that I know how to do such an old technique -- even if I have a long way to go before I can make such an incredible piece.

Check out my wire wrapped and enamel jewellery at Naomi's Designs or MayaGirl Creations. And check out my novel, REVENGE OF A BAND GEEK GONE BAD, on Amazon.

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