enamel experiment

So I’ve only treid cloisonne enamel once. I took the conventional route of using enamelling solder to make the initial cell, then filling that with a clear glaze that held the wires. I had problems, firstly that I really hated the enamelling solder, because you use it so hot you’re in danger of melting everything, and secondly because I made the cells a little bit too deep and had trouble filling and grinding them.

I ended up using those pieces as decoration on my norman gown, where they look quite good despite my qualms

Those enamels had been intended for a brooch, though, which I still want to make, and there are a couple of other projects using cloisonne enamel that I’d like to prioritise. However, I thought I’d try another approach, making the main cell in the style of champleve enamel (so setting it straight into a sheet of silver, rather than raising it up) then adding cloisonne wires. This is not only period appropriate, but would make a shallower cell and hopefully avoid as much filling and grinding.

Rather than launch straight into a large project with an untried theory, I decided to try it out by making a couple of small things that could be set into rings.

THe blue once went a bit wrong, despite my rescue attempt, I’ll save that one and it might get used at a later date as a filler where it won’t be too obvious.

Thegreen flower isn’t perfect but I think I’ll use that one anyway  -it’s only about 8mm square and I do lose a lot of rings anyway. Partly the problem was down to my cloisonne wires being a bit too shallow this time, so the enamel went over them, partly I think I need more practice filling tiny cells. For a second attempt I’m happy with them, despite the room for improvement.

I’m quite pleased with the little face, which will go into a copy of a c12th ring. He’s smaller and less detailed than the original, which had eyebrows and a mouth, but he’s cute.

Oh, and whislt I was looking as designs to set the green flower, I was reminded of the rings from the west yorkshire hoard, and I decided my reenactment life is simply not complete without a copy of this…

I’m going to trot into town and have a proper look at it during the week because it’s in the local museum. to give you an idea of the ridiculous size of the thing(it’s 32×42 mm), here’s a picture of it on a conservator’s finger

I need one, it’s so far from subtle it’s practically mooning subtly whilst shagging ostentation and snorting coke from a diamond encrusted spoon nestled between the enormous silcone breasts of an expensive hooker.

It’s hideous, it makes me laugh and I wants it.

(some people say one of the biggest mistakes you can make in costume is trying to apply modern good taste to your outfit – I go to the opposite extreme, I love bad medeival taste)

~ by opusanglicanum on August 13, 2018.

4 Responses to “enamel experiment”

  1. Lovely work. I love the diamond shaped ring. It shows off that 1. not only can you afford a lot of gold and a nice garnet(?) 2. you have the money to pay someone to fiddle around for hours with tiny bits of gold wire. I look forward to seeing it.
    It would be useful in a fight, too.

  2. I thought it would make a weapon, as well. And it’s so far from subtle, it’s approaching it from the other side!

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