Champleve Butterfly Necklace

Here is a Champleve Butterfly, I wanted to share how I work with clients on custom request. and how I create champleve. enamel jewels.

Custom Champleve Butterfly

Champleve Butterfly This is an image the client sent me to reference as the shape she was interested in.

Champleve Butterfly

Rendering I painted out with her choice of colors.

Enameled Butterfly

Jewels in the Technique of Champleve. Her choice of enamel color placement .

Enamel Butterfly

Beginning of a Butterfly Necklace.Beginning of a Butterfly Necklace.I like to add a little dome to the metal so the light sparkles through the enamels. Here a practice dome in copper.



Custom Champleve Butterfly

Champleve Butterfly After I was happy with the shape of the slight dome in the copper I then domed the butterfly on 18k gold. Using copper to aid in the fusing technique of the gold, the sheet, body, frame and findings are all fused together. The framing around the wings act as a stop for the enamels.

Champleve Techniques

Champleve Techniques for an Enamel Butterfly Pendant with fused on decorations in the wings.


Custom Champleve Butterfly Necklace










How to Create Plique a Jour – Video

How to create plique a jour with Tom Herman and Patsy Croft.

Plique a Jour is a vitreous enameling technique where the enamel is applied in cells, similar to cloisonné, but with no backing in the final product, so light can shine through the transparent or translucent enamel. It is in effect a miniature version of stained-glass and is considered very challenging technically.

Plique a jour can be created in two ways, one, by saw piercing a sheet of metal or two, by fabricating a structure of wires.This first images shows the tiny wings above the ruby drops as plique a jour formed in wire and enamels laid in.

Carnival earrings - Cloisonne enamel jewelry by Patsy Croft

Carnival earrings – Front

This second image the plique a jour is created from a sheet of gold that is saw pierced.

Plique a Jour Jewelry Techniques


With a vision we started.

Mendocino Poppy





Mendocino Poppy

Plique a Jour Beginnings

Test Plates of Enamels


The first video shows Tom saw piercing the poppy petals to create plique a jour.

This second video I am floating the enamels into the poppy stem leaves.

This should give you a good idea of how to create plique a jour, enjoy!

Plique a Jour

Poppy construction complete

Matilija Poppy enameling progress

Matilija Popper

Poppy Project for Mendocino Art Center Where we are are today, a few more week left. 


Enamel Test Plates

This is what I call Enamel Test Plates! Raj Lathigara, Ph.D. is serious about his journey in enameling. Getting to know your product is so important. I completely understand we are so excited when we see this beautiful art for of enameling, we just want to jump in and start playing.

But, if you can take the time, as Raj did here to make test plates of all your enamels you will find it to be a huge advantage as you begin your journey.

Ninomiya_transparent enamel test plates

Transparent Enamel test plates of Ninomiya

Opaque Enamel Test Plates of Ninomiya

Opaque Enamel Test Plates of Ninomiya

Attention to detail! Rajesh will be an amazing enamelist!

How to make a test plate.

Enamel Colors, Some of My Favorites

Here are some of my favorite colors in leaded enamels. As you will see I mostly use transparent enamels.

 A few great colors to get you started.



B30 …these two are true yellows



N27…these three are  green yellows



109    Shippo 






L21 very dark







True Greens






Water Blues





Sky Blues







L81 Dark

If there is a B in front of the numbers this means it is from Bovano Enamel Supply Others you can order from and the are Ninomiya Transparent Enamels

But there is nothing more important than making your own test places!


Opalescent Enamels by Merry-Lee Rae

Opalescent Enamels by Merry-Lee Rae

Properties of Opalescent Enamels. Okay, get ready for this. Most modern day opalescent enamels are not truly opalescent but rather semi transparent. A true opalescent is a mixture of two immiscible enamels. (Immiscible Definition
Immiscibility is the property where two substances are not capable of combining to form a homogeneous mixture. The components are said to be “immiscible.” In contrast, fluids that do mix together are called “miscible.”
Components of an immiscible mixture will separate from each other. The less dense fluid will rise to the top; the more dense component will sink. This can also be true of solids but in the case of enamels, it is referring to the molten state.)
The old leaded Thompson were true opalescent enamels. In the case of their 835 Opal White, the glass was immiscible unless fired too hot. If you fire them too hot they become miscible and the resulting glass becomes an opaque. According to the late (great) Woody Carpenter, these enamels also contained arsenic. The “too hot” varied from one batch to another. I have a rather large container of 835 that goes opaque at about 1325 degrees and so as long as you fire under that temperature, your results will be a glorious true opalescent enamel. It should be noted that most medium fusing enamels are meant to be fired hotter than this. It is possible to get them to a glossy stage at 1325 but it will take 3 minutes or more for a small jewelry piece. In actuality, it doesn’t matter how many times you fire a piece as long as it never gets hot enough to change the chemical makeup and cause it to go opaque. Because they are so delicately fussy about temperature, you may find that firing on a layer near the end is safer for you but it really is about the temperature.
The Japanese opals are all semi transparent and not sensitive to overheating. The colors are quite lovely and troublefree but not actually opalescent enamels. Have a look at a Faberge Egg in person some time for an example of Opalescent Enamel. They are delicious.

The Lion and the Lamb
“Let us be dissatisfied until that day when the lion and the lamb shall lie down together and none shall be afraid.” -Martin Luther King, Jr .
The theme for American Jewelry Design Council 2018 is “Together”.