Enameling is fired glass on metal. It is one of the most difficult mediums to master. But after becoming proficient in this medium, it is hard to give it up. It is a medium that to this day, James still finds to be new and refreshing. If you gravitate towards color, painting, or drawing, this might be for you.

Cloisonné and Champleve are the methods currently taught at James Carter Studio

Cloisonné enameling is probably the most popular of the enameling techniques. It is basically thin wires (cloisonne) laid on a flat or curved surface of the metal to replicate a line drawing. Designs can be simple to difficult, depending on the skill level of the artist. Powdered glass in different colors is applied to bring out the design. After each layer, the piece is fired in a kiln. It is then sanded and polished. When finished, it is mounted into a premade bezel or another frame.

Champleve enameling differs from cloisonné in that enamel is applied to a premade piece of jewelry. The whole piece is fired, unlike cloisonné, where only the metal plate holding the design is fired. The cut and solder method of Champleve uses 2 sheets of metal. The top piece has the design cut out with a jeweler’s saw. It is then soldered to the bottom plate. The cavities created with the saw are then filled with powdered glass and fired. After painting 2 or 3 layers of enamel, the piece is fired, sanded, polished and ready to wear.

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