Champlevé is a beautiful technique used in enameling where you create recessed compartments or cells, in metal to receive enamels. These recessions can be achieved several ways.
One, remove metal by graving out an area using gravers or chisels, in any metal of enameling. A second option of Champlevé is the use acid, which has been popular in the past few years. ferric nitrate works on copper, sulfuric acid on fine silver or sterling silver, to achieve a cell to enamel in.
Second. etch out you place a resist on the areas you do not want the acid to removed such as asphaltum varnish, applied with a paint brush. Now you are ready to float the jewel in the acid. It is rather slow maybe 24 hours to remove the desired depth of metal.
And third, to create Champlevé is to fuse or solder plates of fine silver or sterling silver. The top plate can be saw priced out and laid over the solid bottom plate.
Engraving takes some time to learn and the acids are a nice thing to avoid. My choice is to create a jewel in the champleve technique using two plates of metal one for the bottom or foundation and one for the top to create an edge. The easiest metal in my opinion is fine silver. And fuse them together. This process is also used in granulation buy adding copper to one of the sheets of metal.
Here is a simple demo. The ring will act as a stop for the enamels, also creating the recession or cell to create champleve. In the first image one part of the fine silver is plated with copper. The second image shows the pieces of fine silver fused together. You can use a torch or kiln.
The third image here I have soldered on a bail with hard sliver solder. And after graving out the background to add some sparkle , I laid in two thin layers of enamel, and polished.
This Champleve ring I removed the background of the ring with a graver, chased the tree in and enameled the recession.
Check out Whpooi’s Dragon which is champleve. http://alohilanidesigns.com/dragon-whoopi-goldberg/
Sharing The Beautiful art of Enameling Patsy Croft