Necklace Silver and Enamel
Article Number 23412
Convex or Concave – a Question of Perspective.
This simple necklace plays with both convex and concave forms. Depending on perspective, attention is sometimes drawn to one form, sometimes to the other. To make these two half-shells, Elgin Fischer saws the silver-supporting material to the appropriate shape, moulds it to the desired size with various chasing tools and then neatens edges. After moulding, the jewellery designer does not hone the edge of the shell to make it level but deliberately retains its slightly undulating form.
This step is followed by blanching when the finished object is heated and pickled. This is how the copper compounds are removed from the topmost layer of silver, leaving behind a thin white layer of fine silver which contrasts very well with the vibrant pigments of the enamel. Elgin Fischer avails herself with the opportunity to use the special qualities of silver here: The base material, sterling silver, gives the pendant stability; the fine silver layer provides the perfect base surface for the pigment.
In the next phase, Elgin Fischer grinds the enamel which she purchases in raw glass cubes and rinses this with distilled water. After adding a bonding agent, the jewellery designer uses a fine brush to apply the enamel as evenly as possible to the metal base. The object is then air dried and heated over a torch until the enamel starts to melt and become smooth. Because the melting point of silver and enamel is similar for some pigments, the jewellery designer has to proceed cautiously during the firing process.
Individual colour combinations.
After the enamelled surface has cooled down, Elgin Fischer finishes it with a diamond polish. If necessary, she applies more enamel and fires it again until she has achieved the required smoothness. The thickness of the layer of pigment, the duration of firing and firing temperature all determine the depth and nuance of the colour so that each of Elgin Fischer's pieces differ slightly.
For the final firing stage, the glaze fire, all the pores close and the enamel starts to "glow". During this process, tiny bubbles are trapped, and these produce small individual dotted patterns – depending on how finely ground or how thinly applied the enamel is. Finally, Elgin Fischer polishes the edge of the shells and matt-finishes the remaining surface so that the base material forms a contrast to the fire-glazed enamel. The piece of jewellery is then assembled. The shells are threaded onto a subtly shimmering diamond-finished anchor chain which Elgin Fischer sources from a Hanau-based manufacturer with whom she has collaborated for 20 years. The necklace's two half-shells are not connected so can move freely and allow different views. Sometimes one, sometimes the other shell attracts attention. The toggle clasp, like the half-shells, is hand-crafted in the Berlin studio and then soldered onto the chain.
We also offer matching earrings (Article numbers 23414 and 23415).
Timeless. Enamel Jewellery from Elgin Fischer.
Elgin Fischer first became interested in working with enamel shortly after completing her training to qualify as a goldsmith. She had the opportunity to learn to enamel, a rarely taught technique today, during a scholarship awarded her by the Chamber of Crafts in Bonn. "The almost alchemistic processes that occur in the kiln, the archaic heat, the way the colours change, the beauty and uniqueness of the material – I was completely mesmerised by it all," explains the qualified product and jewellery designer.
So it was no coincidence that in the course of her career as a freelance artist with a particular interest in jewellery design she eventually focused entirely on enamelling, honing her skills on an on-going basis. "Enamelling calls for a great deal of experience and involves trial and error. You also have to practice constantly; otherwise, you lose your intuitive capacity. The technique requires a special kind of patience, partly because of precision is obligatory for the work – but also because the colours sometimes take on a life of their own," says Elgin Fischer about the difficulties of working with enamel. Over the years, she has developed a feel for the different pigments which have to be chosen carefully in terms of durability, melting behaviour and material-induced tension.
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