Cloisonne and Distorsion

In designing you cloisonne fine jewelry here is something to keep in mind. I want to show you what happens in cloisonne as wires attract heat and cause the base meal to distort.

This is a cloisonne piece I am currently working on and thought it          

would be a good opportunity to show how things can move.

There is a concentration of wires in the top left of my design. As I am layering in enamels the cloisonne jewel starts to bow up in this area.

Here you can see the top left of the enamel piece is higher, and the right base of the enamel piece is bowing.  And can cause several problems if not dealt with. One, as you have planned your warm colors in the high area you could sand it all off while trying to make a nice even dome, because you have several layers of flux before you have added the warm colors. Second in setting the right side will be higher and maybe your bezel will not cover the same as on the left side.

And the farther you go without knowing and planning more can go wrong. The counter enamel also likes the heat and will pool under this area, and can eventually cause the enamel jewel to sink in the area as well.

As the points of my piece are lifting and the center starts going down I know I have reached the limits of layering in the enamels.

One way to counter this is by adding cloison wire to the back of the jewel opposite of the wire work on the front of the jewel.

Happy Enameling!

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