The 200 year-old English company of manufacturing goldsmiths Deakin & Francis specialise in the rare and highly skilled hand work of Vitreous Enamelling, also known as ‘Hard Enamel’.
This must not be confused with Paint, Synthetic, Lacquer or Epoxy which can be called ‘Soft Enamel’ and is not enamel in the true sense of the word. Vitreous Enamel is glass, the same material as bottles and windows. Its colours come from the inclusion of metallic oxides.
The application of Vitreous Enamel is time consuming and requires great patience and the finest craftsmanship. All the processes are done by hand and eye with no mechanical or automated assistance, using methods unchanged in 2000 years.
The glass must first be ground to a very fine powder, mixed with distilled water and applied to the prepared metal background, when the water evaporates the metal is heated with a gas torch to approximately 800 °C, this causes the glass to fuse onto the metal.
This process has to be repeated many times on each piece in order to build up the depth of enamel, finally the surface is ground with carborundum then re-fired to obtain the excellent bright smooth finish required for our cufflinks.
Great care must be taken with cleanliness as any impurity in the enamel, on the metal or mixing of colours will lead to failure. The application of different colours into their separate divisions or ‘cloisons’ must be executed without a single grain of colour spilling into the adjoining cloison, otherwise, the piece will be ruined.
The final product is a piece of art, created by a craftsman practicing the skills invented by the early Egyptian Byzantine Chinese and Japanese Dynasties. Comparing Vitreous Enamel with its poor imitations leaves no room for doubting which is a piece of jewellery to cherish and which is a fake!
Visit D&F at JCK LAS Vegas from June 4th to 7th – Prestige Promenade Stand 19
Or at Pitti Uomo Firenze from June 15th to 18th – Padiglione Centrale, Salone M Piano Inferiore, stand 13.
Visit us at www.deakinandfrancis.com – Are you Wearing Cufflinks Today?
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