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The Process of Enamel Inlay Over Silver

Jun 29, 2008
Although Russian silver and enamel artistic works exploded during the 19th Century, the true ancient beginnings were during the 15th and 16th Centuries. During the heightened points of Russian silver and enamel works of art, the Cloisonne technique slightly similar to the Orient's original Cloisonne technique of metal and enamel process. The Orient technique of Cloisonne, has slightly raised metal for pockets of enamel to be filled. But in the Russian Cloisonne technique, the metal surfacing is completely flat. On top of the Russian artists making these three techniques their main methods of silver and enamel design, there is also the artistic beauty of painted enamel.

Russian culture is full of colors, in everything they do architecturally in their homes, in their churches, and also within their smaller artistic creations of their everyday living. Not only were their inner and outer surroundings painted with colorful variations, but they were also decorated with enamels that were brilliantly translucent. Many of these jewels like enamels of the 19th Century were made by the court enameler, Ovchinikov, during the reign of Tzar Aleksandr III. It was during the reigns of the Tzar's of Aleksandr II, Aleksandr III, and Tzar Nikolai II that there was an explosion of creative beauty within the artistic world of Russian enamel and silver.

With a splash of the Orient cultural influence mixed with the Russian's national heritage made up the exquisite artworks known only to be owned by the Russian artists. There is nothing like the expressiveness that is only unique to the Russians with their long lineage arts of enameling. Although Russian silver and enamel artistic works exploded during the 19th Century, the true ancient beginnings were during the 15th and 16th Centuries. During the Empire of Byzantine, there was of a profound exposure to Christianity, and there was a blended mixture of expression within several of the enamel artworks during these very early time periods.

During the heightened points of Russian silver and enamel works of art, the Cloisonne technique slightly similar to the Orient's original Cloisonne technique of metal and enamel process. The Orient technique of Cloisonne, has slightly raised metal for pockets of enamel to be filled. But in the Russian Cloisonne technique, the metal surfacing is completely flat. With the other popular method around this time period was the technique of Filigree. This is done by taking twisted and thin silver wiring designs and laying them upon the flat surface specifically for the enamel filled areas.

There are several other silver and enamel inlay methods and another very popular one to come along after the Cloisonne and the Filigree techniques is the Champleve method. The Champleve technique is when there are etches or scratches engraved into the silver, gold, or some other metal and the various colors of brilliant enamel is inlaid into the deep etches of design within the metal surface. On top of the Russian artists making these three techniques their main methods of silver and enamel design, there is also the artistic beauty of painted enamel. In this the enamel was literally hand-painted upon the silver or some other metal an then fired for giving its translucent beauty.
About the Author
Anita Satin Choudhary writes for Ivory and Art Gallery. Browse the gallery for unique collection of artifacts ranging from Russin Silver with Enamel and Netsuke to Mammoth Ivory Tusks.
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