About enamel jewelry
Enamel jewelry is beloved for its glossy, colorful appearance. Enamel has been in jewelry making since 1200s in China and Persia. It was flourishing again during Art Nouveau era and had its come back in 1970s. Multiple iconic pieces, such as Panthere De Cartier, Webb Kingdom Collection or the VCA pieces from 1920s are still sought after. Today enamel is also widely used in jewelry design.
Enamel is a specifically formulated glass powder or a paste applied to a metal. After the application it gets heated up to 950°C.
Here are some of the most popular enameling techniques in jewelry making:
– Plique-a-Jour is the most difficult among enameling techniques. Plique-a-Jour was especially popular among such the Art Nouveau artist as Rene Lalique, Louis Comfort Tiffany and Peter Carl Faberge. The name can be translated from French as “to let light in”. The method allows light to go through the piece and make it glow. It’s done by applying the enamel powder in between of the little metal sections while using the foil to hold it together. After the enamel solidifies, the foil gets removed. This process creates a stained-glass appearance with delicate colors and lights coming from within.
– Cloisonné, or hard enamel, is made by layering enamel past the metal line. But first the design is stamped into a metal base. Then it gets polished down to the level of the metal. Due to the lengthier process, Cloisonné is considered more durable and higher quality.
– Meenakari — this technique begins with the design being engraved onto to the metal. Then the enamel is filling the etchings. To achieve a vibrant color that Meenakari jewelry is famous for, the piece is polished with organic acids. A layer of the transparent enamel finalizes the process.
We have a great selection of enamel jewelry online, or you can see it in person while visiting our store in Beverly Hills.
About French jewelry
Vintage French jewelry is highly valued by jewelry experts and enthusiasts. Since the late Renaissance, France has been established itself as one of the world trendsetter in art and fashion. A quick look at the top 5 French jewelry designers — Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Hermes, Chaumet, Chanel — describes French level of greatness even better.
How did France reach such a high level of the hierarchy of the jewelry world? In a nutshell, it started with French apprenticeship system. In the beginning of 1950s, in France anyone at the age 14 could start learning the craft. This way French jewelers, like no others in the world, gained a substantial portion of experience in the early age. Even non-designer jewels were produced by the high skilled masters.
Modern jewelry is not handcrafted anymore and mass market oriented production is prevailing. Jewelry designs are streamlined to use as less hand labor as possible. That’s why today vintage French jewelry is in such high demand. Nadine Krakov Collection offers the most desirable vintage jewelry online made by French experts.