What is Cloisonne Enamel?

Cloisonne: French for “cloison” or “cell.” A technique in which metal wires are bent to form a design; enamel is then inlaid into the resulting “cloisons.” Although this can be done in copper, contemporary cloisonné is most frequently done in silver or gold. Cloisonné (the addition of fine wires separating the colors) was perfected in the Orient. Powdered glass was placed onto copper shapes and fired in a kiln.

History: The earliest known enameled articles are 6 enameled gold rings dating from the 13th century BC, discovered in a Mycenaean tomb at Kouklia, Cyprus. Later, religious works were enameled during the Byzantine era in the 6th sentury AD. In China, cloisonné has been used since the 13th century AD. Limoges, France became famous for champlevé enamels from the 12th century onwards, producing on a large scale, and then from the 15th century retained its lead by switching to painted enamel on flat metal plaques. In the 19th century Faberge eggs, which combine jewels with enamels, reached world fame.

Technique: Enamel (glass) is crushed to a powder somewhat finer than granulated sugar. Fine silver or 24K gold fine ribbons of wire are placed onto an enameled surface and fired in a kiln to hold their position. After the wires are fired in place thin layers of colored enamel are packed into each cell using a fine sable brush or special tools and then fired in a kiln at 1475 degrees Fahrenheit for 3 minutes. This process is repeated until the enamels reach the top of the wires. The beautiful depth in the enamel piece is created by blending and shading the finely ground enamels and from the repeated firings. As many as 20 firings can go into each piece. Once the enameling process is complete, the enameled piece is ground and polished.

What is Awked Design Studio’s vision for creating jewelry commissioned by the client?

Awked Design Studio regards each and every one of our clients as designers in their own right. We see potential in every sketch you make. Our sole goal is to bring out the unique talent and attitude, preserving the pure fantasy, raw energy and unique vision already present in your sketches and designs. We strive to ensure that every final product is a masterpiece.

The following are just some of the possible directions you could take with your custom order.

  • Turn your artwork/sketch into a jewelry piece.
  • Have your kids’ drawing or sketch made into a jewelry piece.
  • Have jewelry created based on your or your family’s monogram, anniversary monogram or your company’s logo.
  • Have jewelry created featuring religious symbol(s) and/or letters and initials.
  • Have jewelry crafted based on an idea or inspired by your favorite jewelry design, artwork, or art style.

How do custom orders work?

AWKed design process explained in three simple steps.

1.

Kids or their parents draw a sketch, which provides the main artistic vision for the decorative jewelry enamel design. This preliminary design is scanned or digitally photographed by the client and transferred via e-mail to an Awked Studio designer.
2.

The main idea and design are amplified and fine tuned by the Awked professional to fit the desired jewelry item – a pendant, earrings, a ring, or a bracelet.
3.

Based on this exclusive client/designer collaboration, enamel professional jeweler fabricates a unique personalized jewelry piece.

Blue Heart enamel gem ring in sterling silver. Work in progress. Idea: Nika Reznikov (8 years old), Design: Dmitriy Polyakov, Execution: Elena Gorbushkina

What is the turnaround time of a custom order?

The estimated time frame for fulfilling a custom order is anywhere from 3 to 5 weeks. This includes the time required for adapting the client’s concept or sketch towards the final design, the process of crafting the enamel item by the enamel artist, framing the enamel piece by the jeweler, and finally the delivery.