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I love the graceful curves of this unassuming flower, and decided it would be a good design to use as practice for cloisonne.
Cloisonne is one of the most time consuming techniques of enameling. Many thin layers of transparent enamel give it a special depth. In champleve there is rarely enough room for more than two layers – so I really have to think differently for cloisonne. I also have to do very different firings, since I use silver wires in cloisonne. When silver and copper come in contact they form what’s called a eutectic alloy, which means that the silver melts at a lower temperature than usual. In fact it melts at the same temperature as I normally fire in champleve! So all my cloisonne firings must be very low. I do what’s called a “sugar fire” just heating the piece up enough for the glass to barely melt. As each subsequent layer is added, the previous ones smooth out. This building up of discreet layers is what gives cloisonne pieces their depth
In the language of flowers (a Victorian conceit) Cala Lillies signify magnificence and beauty. They are popular at both weddings and funerals.
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