Enamel is widely used in various areas — from metal consumer objects manufacture to producing of jewelry and decorative elements. Artworks created with this medium are the most long-lasting paintings because of medium durability and resistance to various harmful influence — it won't fade like watercolor or crack like tempera.
Materials and techniques of enamel painting
Enameling process includes melting of metal under the influence of high temperature which is higher than 500 C. Under this influence forms a beautiful smooth surface, and the colors are simply brilliant. There are 13 main techniques of enameling, the most popular of them are:
- champleve (the surface gets carved, and enamel is placed inside the pits);
- dasse-taille (the enamel is applied on a very thin, almost transparent layer);
- cloisonne (an enamel is places within borders formed by thin wires).
Enamel technique allows to create both giant paintings and miniatures to decorate, for example, jewelry. Creating enamel artworks is a difficult process, but the result is worth efforts.
This medium was widely used as a decorative material. With the help of enamel masters decorated daggers, plates, jewelry, interior elements and many other objects.
Short history of enamel painting
First examples of enamel art are dishes and wall decoration which were created in prehistoric times. This technique developed in different ways in different countries. For example, in the Middle Ages Europe cloisonne technique got its highest development while in the Romanesque period chapleve technique was more popular.
This style gained its peak during Renaissance period and in 17th century when artists created enamel portrait miniatures which looked almost like oil painting. Nowadays with a help of this medium some artists even create Abstract Expressionist artworks in Jackson Pollock style. Though painting process is which involves enamel is very difficult, artists are always attracted by that the artwork will survive its creator.
Beautiful look of enamel which reminds jewelry made it popular between Art Nouveau designers, and many Faberge eggs are covered with this medium. In USSR this medium was used by artists Alexei Maximov and Leonid Efros who created enamel portraits.
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