Published On: 07-16-2012 10:51am
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This technique is called plique a jour. Plique a jour means light of day. They are like stained glass windows. Light is meant to go through them. This technique is one that I did not pick up in a class. I love stained glass windows and I do use light in several of my bead woven paintings. I did however feel a little insecure not having someone to ask questions of. I have found out a few things using this technique.
I'm in touch with a woman who does plique a jour and I have talked with her on line. She uses lost wax cast to create the framework for her plique a jour. It's recommended that fine silver be used for plique a jour. This is because of fire scale. Fire scale doesn't form on fine silver and it does on sterling because of the copper,(which of course is used to form the alloy making up sterling silver). Fine silver also doesn't work harden which means it keeps it's flexibility. The flexibility can be a good thing in that I can open the ring on top. It's bad in that moving the metal with crack the enamel. Dropping these may also break or crack the enamel. Some care should be taken with these earrings. Normal touching will not harm them,even dropping them on carpeting shouldn't hurt them. If you drop them on concrete or step on them they probably will break or crack. I found these things out the hard way.These are my first ventures into plique a jour. You can use sterling silver and eutectic solder for plique a jour. Your will need to glide it before enameling. Gliding brings a layer of fine silver to the surface of the framework. I found out this is a lot more work and some what less reliable then simple using fine silver.
Most of my information about plique a jour has come out of some books one is called The art of Enameling by Linda Darty and another is Contemporary Enameling Art and Techniques by Lilyan Bachrach.. Both books have been extremely helpful as well as all the articles and other books and magazines I've read. For plique a jour it's important to create a curvilinear image without sharp edges or corners. This can put stress on the glass. I've also found out that the cells should be fairly small. It's also better to go slowly and use several layers to fill the cells. Opaque enamels don't work well with plique a jour. After I'm done enameling I file or stone the creation to clean in up and create an even effect.
I haven't been doing my blog because too much has been going on here. My youngest child,Alex got Bar Mitzvah. This was a very big deal. He turned 13. Man do I feel old! He read from the torah and had to write speeches about his torah and haftorah portions. My parents also got sick and couldn't come to the service and the wiz and I were overwhelmed and exhausted by the end of this experience. We also felt that Alex,and we had earned a really good party. We had a party a Schliterbaughm. We made a picnic lunch,(mostly because Alex is a diabetic and I wanted control of the carb count.)and it cost a fortune,but everyone had a good time. My daughter is also trying to get into the art institute here. Everything that has been going on has pretty much limited my access to the computer. The photo above is my first cloisonne ring. It's 7 12,which fits a medium size finger,(mine). My girls love these cloisonne leaves. The ring is very comfortable to wear and I have tried a lot of texture with them. My girls don't like these flowers as much. They aren't cloisonne and they aren't as much work to create. The girls feel these are juvenile. I agree,however, I think these are sweet and not everything needs to be so elaborate. I feel they are a nice interesting counter point. My girls don't like my flower paintings as much either.