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JD171.OL1Materials and PropertiesProfessor Steven Parker Spring Semester 2012
“Plique a jour” is a French term roughly translating to “glimpse of daylight” in English. Offers an aesthetic similar to that of stained glass. One of many enameling techniques, and considered the most challenging. Typical of Art Nouveau style.
Vitreous enamel itself is a type of (melted) powdered glass, which can be fused onto a metal surface. Many attractive properties: Smoothness Chemical resistance Durability Scratch resistance (5-6 on the Moh’s Scale) Long lasting colour fastedness The inability to burn
Drawback: tendency to crack or shatter if bent Main ingredient: FRIT – 3 varieties 1. Ground coats containing smelted-in transition metals, which enable adhesion to steel. 2. Clear or semi-opaque, which contain a small amount of colouring material for producing different shades. 3. Titanium-saturated coats, which result in a bright white colour during firing.
Enamel can be transparent, opaque or translucent. Enamel colours are developed by adding various minerals: Cobalt Praseodymium Iron Neodymium - particularly delicate shades along the spectrums from pure violet to wine-red and warm grey.
1. The enamel glass lumps are crushed into a fine uniform powder/solution.2. The powder solution is applied to a metal surface using a small spatula and/or brush.3. The item is heated to 1000-1600 F for 1-10 minutes4. Additional coats provide the desired shades and opacity. Up to 20 firings may be required.5. Basically, you are building layers to attain the perfect opacity and hues.
Developed in Byzantine Empire in 6th century AD, but the practice seemed to have disappeared there after the 13th century. Appeared in Western Europe from 1295 onwards with references to it in both Italian and French texts. Benvenuto Cellini and other Renaissance artists are known to have utilised the method, but it seemed to have been lost in both Western and Eastern Europe after the early 16th century. Experienced its revival in the 19th century, gaining popularity especially in Russia and Scandinavia. Some masters of particular noteworthiness are Rene Lalique, Gustave Gaudernack and those under Faberge. Traditionally used for ornaments, vessels and table items as well as jewellery.
1. Filigree plique-a-jour ("Russian plique-a-jour"): Precious metal wires are soldered to create a design consisting of “cells” which are filled with enamel.2. Pierced plique-a-jour ("Western plique-a-jour"): Similar to above, but pierced metal sheet is used instead of wire.3. Shotai shippo ("Japanese plique-a-jour"): First flux/clear enamel and then wires are fired over a copper form. After firing, the copper is etched away leaving the backless plique a jour item.4. Cloisonné on mica: After creating the “cells” of precious metal, they are covered with fixed mica, which is then stitched out with abrasives after firing.
Correct texture is integral – must not be too fine, very well washed and freshly ground. Application Pack solution into the cells as tightly as possible Do not overfill the cell – remove excess enamel Once dried, fire the piece fast and high as the enamel will be drawn to the centre of the cell if underfired. If holes appear after firing, refill them. Suggested temperature for plique a jour is 14oo F, and 45 seconds maximum for each firing. Dry the piece completely between each firing.
Convex shape adds facets, intensifies the shades and adds strength. Do not let enamel come into contact with the top edges of the metal enclosure. If you notice this after firing, it must be removed by stoning. Stoning may cause damage to the cells, resulting in the need to refill and refire. Cylinder forms tend to develop expansion-related cracks – try to avoid by: Creating small crevices, adding opacity, reducing the thickness and slowing the cooling process
Cartier Metiers dArt Plique a Jour Paillonne: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lt5PAXLQ2RM Dragonfly brooch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_adGkoEirU&feat ure=related