The new semester for my enameling class starts in just a few days so I've been trying to finish some incomplete projects. For the past couple of days, I've been working on this Mediterranean-inspired silver wire wrapped and enamel necklace:
I made this blue and turquoise pendant using a technique called sgraffito. Basically, you put down one layer of enamel. Then, when you sift on a second layer, you use something sharp, like a toothpick, to swirl a design into the fine glass powder. When you eventually heat the second layer of enamel in the kiln, the design pops and you can clearly see the two colors.
This technique works best if you use dark and light colors so you can see the contrast. I've done a few sgraffito pieces in red and black, but when I tried to do red and yellow, it didn't work as well. The contrast just wasn't sharp enough. I really like these blues, though (surprise, surprise, right?). One woman in my class said that it reminded her of Mediterranean jewelry, which was a huge compliment since I adored the pieces I saw in Greece.
I'll let you in on a little secret: I'd originally used the copper square to make a champleve pendant, but it didn't turn out well ... and so I covered it with new enamel and went for a different concept. That's the beauty of this type of art! That's also why this piece is so thick; I had to use several layers of enamel, more so than usual, to cover the depressions that I'd etched for champleve. Still, I like the thickness; it gives the pendant more depth and makes it look even more like a Greek tile. My husband even asked if it's made of stone, so it's definitely sturdy.