Christie’s auction house is featuring cloisonné enamel amidst the sale of Russian works of art on Monday, April 16. The pre-sale estimate is $3 – $4.3 million.
Cloisonné is a technique that dates back to Byzantine times, and has also been traced to ancient China. Compartments are created on a metal object, usually using silver or gold wire strips,which are filled with enamel powder. The piece is then kiln-fired.
The ability to do this craft is within our reach at Rowanberry Studio, but we have yet to delve into this process. It is incredibly intricate. The artist paints one coat of enamel at a time, firing after each layer. As many as 25 layers can be added to a single piece of jewelry to attain the deep, vibrant colors. After multiple firings, the final piece is polished, and can be placed into a gold or silver jewelry setting.
Click on the links below each picture to read more about the artists and pieces. Patsy Croft has a pretty nice site with information and pictures showing the process with step-by-step illustrations.