Cloisonne Hornbill Enamel Progress Pic

Crazy Horse

Elite Cafe Member
Nov 9, 2006
I'm trying my hardest, but I really can't discern any kind of bird in this sculpture. Can you please explain the Cloissonne process. Perhaps that will help me out.


~ Elite 1000 Member ~
Apr 10, 2007
Rockville, MD
Thread starter #8
Crazy Horse the proportions caused me to post the bird sidewise. The two brown objects are stylised representations of trees. The hornbill is perched on the tree on the left. The wires are fine silver wires that are thin and easily
maleable with tweezers. The shapes of the wires must be curved or double-uped to be self-supportive, some form of adhesive is used that will burn out in the kiln and leave the wires inbedded in the underlying enamels. The beak of the hornbill is on the lower left, right side of the animal. If you rotate the stylised representation of the hornbill you might recognize the image better. There is an orange cubic zirconia stone in place to represent the eye. If you zoom into the image that might help clarify. The piece is 3 dimensional so a photo doesn't always represent it well, you will have to try to visual it as best you can. Hope this helps. The enamel powder crystals that are applied to the metal base, in this case copper, melt in the kiln between 1300 and 1500 degrees, to fuse and shine. Meltdown or partial meltdown is always a strong possibility if the piece stays in the kiln too long, especially the delicate, thin, vulnerable cloissone wires. There are many other techniques and ways to apply enamels. This piece will be vertical upright and placed in a framed, lit up shadow box to accent the many intricate details of the bird. It will hang from a wall like a painting in miniature. The piece could also be worn as a pendant since there is a copper tube on the back from which a chain, cord, etc. can be sent thru it to go around the neck,. Many kiln firings are required to layer the colored crystals on top of one another, stoning down of enamels and cloissones to produce an even level surface finish requires many hours of delicate, intensive, labor and repair. After stoning, the piece is again flash fired to reestablish the luster of the enamels, cloistered in the wire cells. It's a long labor intensive process to witness the concept to fruition, from beginning to end, an exercise of patience, much like a detailed engraving!
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