Baked Goods

October 1998

Precious Metals:New Products

Baked Goods

Modern enamel jewelry is created by methods that have transcended time

Enamel jewelry and art reached its first pinnacle with the rise and support of Russia's czars. The works of Peter Carl Fabergé, René Lalique and Leonard Limousin set a precedent for creativity.

Today, the art of enameling is enjoying a renaissance thanks to the work of a handful of firms using these age-old techniques:

  • Cloisonné, one of the oldest methods, features cells created with thin metal strips soldered onto a metal backing and then filled with enamel and fired.
  • Pliqué-à-jour is filigree enamelwork with no backing, creating the appearance of stained glass.
  • Champlevé involves carving, engraving or etching metal with acid to create wells that are filled with enamel and fired.

With all methods the enamel can be repeatedly layered and fired until the desired effect is achieved. Peruse the following examples of enamel art produced today for your jewelry store.

– by Lorraine M. Suermann


18k white and pink gold bracelets and rings with diamonds and enamel are from the Metropolitan Collection by La Nouvelle Bague, one of the biggest names in enamel jewelry.
La Nouvelle Bague, Florence, Italy; (39-55) 244-911 or (39-55) 244-912, fax (39-55) 247-9090.

Enameled clocks feature hand-engraved copper that's fused inside and out with 18k goldplate and covered in translucent enamel in the old-world guilloche style. Available in footed boxes, pill boxes and pendants. Suggested retail, $165-$465.
Vivian Alexander, Maurice, LA; (800)898-0803.
Transparent enamel imparts a luminous quality to this cloisonné pin. The cells are formed with 24k gold wire on a fine silver textured disk. The center bar features a tourmaline and diamonds at both ends. Suggested retail, $9,600.
Magick Fusager-Demski Design, Berkeley, CA; (510) 234-9938, fax (510) 234-4118.

The Jardin Garden bracelet is pliqué-à-jour, an enameling technique developed in the 14th century that creates the look of stained glass because there is no backing.
Nouveau 1910, New York City; (212) 302-7200, fax (212) 840-7249.

A high-fire French enamel is applied to 18k gold in this nautical trio by Mercedes J. Franklin. Clockwise from top, the sail fish is $1,630 keystone, the French angel fish with diamond eye is $1,438 and the heron with diamond eye is $1,308.
Mercedes J. Franklin, Southport, FL; (850) 265-6274, fax (850) 265-2029.

Butterfly features baked enamel wings on 14k gold with diamond, emerald and pearl accents. Suggested retail, $2,200.
Siera Jewelry Inc., Los Angeles, CA; (213) 623-6370, fax (213) 623-1302.

Red and blue Fornussado enamel from Italy coats these gold rings accented with 0.15 carat of diamonds. This type of enamel has a small percentage of glass and allows the artist to work with thinner metal. It comes with a lifetime guaranty against breakage or chipping. Suggested retail, $598.
Haggai Collection, a division of GoldArama Inc., New York City; (212) 730-7299, fax (212) 730-0288.


Copyright © 1998 by Bond Communications.


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