About hot enamel
People at all times valued enamel as gemstones. Sometimes enamel even could surpass gems beauty. The secret of its creation was strictly kept and handed down from master to apprentice.
Enamel traditions are very old. The first mention of the enamel appeared in 1400 BC in Cyprus. Also, ancient Egypt, China and Japan have been famous for decorating their jewelry by enamel since ancient times. Georgian and French enamels are very famous too.
In the old days, craftsmen who were working in the hot enamel technique were appreciated in Europe very much. Possessing of such a master-hand at any country was a desirable goal of any ruler. One of the most heartsore and irreparable moment of Russian history is the Batu Khan invasion in which were lost enamel specialists. And as an important factor of Russian revival was appearance of a new enamel school.
The term "enamel" spread not long ago, in the late XIX century. It replaced the old term –enamel (rus. - финифть), which came from Byzantium (from Latin fingitis - hard, shiny stone). H ot enamel technique – is rather troublesome and involves many stages of creation. In addition to basic fundamentals of art, it requires more knowledge in production technology, as well as special equipment and materials.
Base of jewelry enamel is glass doped with one or another metal oxide, which imparts a certain color of enamel. After applying the ink paste onto a copper or stainless steel plate, the product is processed to calcination in an oven at a temperature of 800-850 degrees. The calcination process is quick ( 3-5 minutes ) but elaborate, requires special muffle furnaces with high precision temperature maintenance. During calcination, the enamel first cracks, and then fuse into a single mass, reacts with the metal to which it is applied, sometimes forming unpredictable even for an experienced master-hand effects – fire in this process becomes the co- artist. Hot enamel technique is multilayered; each layer ought to be calcined. It may be from 5 to 15 and more layers.
Hot enamel combines many different techniques and methods of processing and metal and enamel itself, enabling countless decorative and pictorial solutions. That is why each product created in this technique is unique.
Enamel artists work both as in the classic themes and topics so in the relevant themes of present. Hot enamel allows combining the color intensity with a clear graphic quality, like thin and graceful line hug a bright color.
Enamel in XXI century is rare and unique and appreciates more and more, because of its durability and keeping intact for many generations. It keeps resistance to moisture, sunlight or temperature extremes. These qualities of the hot enamel technique emphasize it in comparison with other art techniques and decorative art. The products made in hot enamel will please their owners, their children and grandchildren for many years....