Enamel is a vitreous material composed of silica, feldspar, kaolin and metal oxides, in the form of crystals. These metal oxides are either naturally occurring or added by the artist, and they are what give enamels their infinite variety of colours. The mixture is then vitrified at very high temperature.

But before the enamel is applied, there is a delicate technical phase that involves delimiting the cells to be filled with enamel.

There are two main techniques:

  • Cloisonné : gold wires are bent to outline the decorative pattern, creating cells where the enamel will be applied with a brush or quill.
  • Champlevé : the metal is carved away and the resulting cells are filled with enamel.

The enamellist then carefully selects the desired colours and fills the cells with finely ground enamel crystals.

Next comes the firing phase.

This is a very delicate step, because after the long weeks of painstaking work, everything depends on these last few minutes.

The firing, between 800 and 900 °C depending on the colours, is done under the watchful and experienced eye of the enamellist.

Indeed, knowing how to judge the perfect firing conditions is a matter of experience, because a few extra seconds or a few degrees difference can compromise many hours of hard work.

All of these steps must be repeated several times, as 4 to 10 firings are necessary to bring our all the intensity of the colours.

In addition to all these other techniques, we are also specialists in miniature painting, a technique often used for the reproduction of works of great masters.

The enamel is ground and mixed with special oils to obtain a material similar to paint.

It is then applied in minute quantities with a brush, making this technique certainly the most time-consuming and difficult to master. Numerous layers are applied and the enamel is fired between each layer, allowing the colours to reveal all their nuances and radiant beauty.

This demanding craftsmanship requires incredible focus, and miniaturists often devote themselves entirely to this art. It is an art in its own right within the world of enamels!

Once the piece is finished, it is unalterable.

Enamel retains all its beauty and radiance for centuries without ever showing signs of wear.

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