The Process of Cloisonné Enamel.
Watch the process of cloisonné enamel jewelry in a slideshow to understand what is cloisonne.
First in the process of cloisonne I like to begin with some drawings, which lead to a few watercolor paintings. Early on in my journey of enameling I learned not to jump right in and apply enamels with a vision in my mind of how they might look.
A painting might take several hours, where as a jewel in cloisonne takes many days. You can not erase the enamels to try a different color if some do not look great with each other, so making your design in watercolors is a great way to bring that vision to reality and know you will love it.
The line drawing you see here also becomes a pattern I use to shape the wires of 24k gold. These wires form “cells” you might be able to see in the steps I have shared, and these cells are filled with vitreous enamels to create the colors you see in the jewel. These wires included in this enameling process is what defines what is cloisonne.
The layering of colors in watercolor painting can be similar to layering transparent colors in enameling. One can also lay in colors of enamels next to each other to create a seamless gradation of color and this is usually my choice.
There will be many layers of enamels to achieve beautiful art and each layer is fired in the kiln before another layer is laid in the cells. Fine thin layers of enamels of 80 -100 grit grains will give an artist a clear sparkling jewel.
All in all there are many years of practice and testing to learn the process of cloisonné enamel well.