Plique a Jour in and on Copper

Several years ago I read an article by Bill Helwig on Plique a Jour using copper sheet and a backing of copper foil. Not until recently did I find the time to experiment with the art of plique a jour and remembered this article to review as I began my exploration. I could remember him saying enamels do not adhere to copper. This is why you can use copper as a backing and peel it off after you are finished.

At this time this link had here is not working. Glass on Metal is no longer being published. I will try to get hold of this publication and post it here. Stay tuned!

One of the wonderful properties of copper and enamels is the warm qualities it give the enamel! In image one he has cut out the copper sheet and in image two he has secured the copper foil to the back of his design. From here he has filled the cells and fired to the point of completion and of course there is fire scale to deal with but he has created a beautiful piece!

Plique a Jour by Bill Helwig

More plique a jour,

Plique a Jour a US Master, Valeri Timofeev

There have been few masters of the art of plique a jour, most notably,             

Fernand Thesmar, Gustave Gaudernack, Rene Lalique, and P. Ovchinnikov throughout history.

But in the last 75 year the US gave home to an exceptional plique a jour artist  Mr. Timofeev, whom existed in the grand tradition of the dynamic enamelist whose convictions and workmanship demand respect.

He is completely independent from any influence of plique a jour that would suggest a side track, a reliance upon tentative worth or speculation.

Guild of Enamellers’ Bursary Award for 2010

The Guild of Enamellers is delighted to announce the winner of their annual Bursary Award – Bronagh Mullan who has recently graduated from Birmingham City University, School of Jewellery where her interest in enamelling was sparked when she attended a part-time course by a visiting tutor and practising enameller, Penny Davis. This motivated Bronagh to use enamel throughout her remaining jewellery projects at university, experimenting with opaque and transparent enamels.

The Selectors for the Award were particularly impressed by Bronagh’s rare gift for combining traditional enamelling techniques with modern technology such as laser marking and JewelCAD but all her jewellery is hand-finished. Using plique à jour she brings delicate colourful enamel detail to the more aggressive shapes in her work, harmonizing these two opposing styles to produce a balanced end product. Her passion for enamelling results in well executed detailed pieces in precious metal, incorporating enamel and stone setting in interesting positions.

Bronagh is currently working as a jewellery designer for a manufacturer in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter. Meanwhile in her own time she continues to experiment with enamelling and hopes to exhibit in the New Year. The Guild of Enamellers is proud to support Bronagh’s ambition to further develop her skills.

info from

Plique a Jour with Platinum Backing

We had a workshop in Wildacers NC through the FSG, Fall 2009.

This is the project I demo in the workshop. We experimented in different backings and each artist chose which method they preferred. In this jewel I use pure platinum foil to support the enamels while firing. Hauser Miller will roll this for you to.002 ”

A draw back is the expense of the platinum, but it can be used multiple times and sent in for refining. The advantage of using this foil over other backings is the end result of clarity in the enamels.