Enamelling consists of vitrifying finely ground coloured powders* and making them adhere to a metallic support by firing at high temperature (600 to 900°C). This technique also called
"grand feu enamels" is the traditional technique that I use in my workshop.
I use two techniques for the realization of my enamels:
Cavities are dug into the thickness of the metal to obtain the desired pattern. The enamel is then put inside the cavities. The coloured powders are then fired to fix them to the
metal ( see above). Then the enamel is sanded more and more finely in order to polish the piece. Finally, a gilding gives the piece its final aspect. Champlevé is the technique
used in the Limousin enamels of the Middle Ages.
Unlike Champlevé, where the motif is dug into the mass, cloisonné enamel consists of fixing thin gold, silver or copper partitions to the metal support by soldering. The resulting
partitions form a network of cells that hold the enamel in the desired position. The enamelling and finishing are the same as for the champlevé technique. Note that this technique has
been known since antiquity.