Champleve

Joan Mackarell Memory Box

(Joan Mackarell-“Memory Box”)

CHAMPLEVE:

From the French meaning “raised field” or “raised plane”. The origin dates back to the Celtic work of the first century AD, accomplished by pouring molten glass into depressions carved into bronze objects and jewellery. This technique developed and flourished in medieval Europe, and produces highly controlled and sharp detail. This process is the very opposite of the cloisonné technique: instead of building up on the surface of the metal object, the surface is gouged away, creating troughs and hollows separated by raised lines of metal that form the outline of the design. The hollows are filled with pulverized enamel which is then fired. The hard-finished enamel is later· filed down until the glossy surface and the metal surface can be polished together. Because the technique depends on chiseling out metal, charnpleve calls for a thick metal base and therefore is used on copper and other base metals.