Trends toward jewelry that is part of a painterly or artistic expression or direction toward a sense of renewal in jewelry continue. Independent designers bring the art of enamel to life as part of their approach to creating a story that revolves around pastel, vibrant or elegant colors or combinations focused on patterns or gemstones. Creative applications of vitreous enamel (hard/hot) and epoxy resin enamel (soft/cold) come into play in various collections. The difference is that vitreous enamel can be brought to life in multiple forms, such as champlevé and plique-à-jour, guilloché and other techniques. It goes through many processes and is much more difficult to work with and often more expensive due to the time, preparation and intricate goldsmithing that goes into a hard/hot enamel piece. These usually come to life in sleek, sophisticated or ultra-feminine designs.
When it comes to epoxy, there is a wide range of color choices in this style of enamel that is created with a whimsical or playful approach to patterns or is used to enhance larger candy-colored gemstones. All types have become desirable for jewelry lovers. Patterns run the gamut from hard and soft enamels and reference antique jewelry or 60s pop art, but all are reworked with the distinctive aesthetic of the designer who creates the pieces.
Here are some simple descriptions of different hard/hot enamel techniques. Some of the designers play on old world enameling processes, creating a contemporary version of them.
Daylight is a transparent or opalescent enamel, allowing light to pass through, creating a stained glass effect.
Guilloche is a transparent enamel on an etched surface, emphasizing the beauty of the colors used and enhancing the underlying design.
Champleve is the process of creating a recessed area filled with usually opaque enamel, creating the design or pattern.
Here is a sampling of designers who work in the various porcelain enamel techniques and those who work in epoxy resin, both of which are catching the attention of today’s jewelry enthusiasts:
House of Lif’s 18k gold plique-a-jour rings accented with diamonds.
Jodphur miniature ring in 22 karat gold by Alice Cicolini with vitreous enamel inspired by a piece from the private collection of miniatures of HRH Maharaja of Jodhpur.
Poison Ivy hoops by Cece Fine Jewelery from the new Wildflower collection in 18 carat gold with champlevé enamel and star-set diamonds.
Selim Mouzannar gemstone bracelet, vitrified enamel and diamonds.
Mini Violet Aura Dreamweaver Huggies in 18k gold plique-a-jour from Ark Fine Jewelry.
Nada Ghazal Jewelry’s 18k Gold Beauty Glory Enamel Rings are designed to look like classic mosaic tiles or exotic carpet patterns.
Fiori ring by Gwen Barba in 18 carat gold with champlevé enamel.
Kavant & Sharart Twist Reflection Double Jacket earrings set in 18k yellow gold with orange sapphire and yellow plique-à-jour enamel convertible earrings with pearl centers.
Rose gold pendant by Selim Mouzannar with transparent vitrified enamel set with a rose gold star and diamonds.
FoundRae 18k Gold Champlevé Enamel Correction Course Compass Pendant on a Heavy Belcher Chain
Brook Gregson necklace in 18k gold Australian Opal Sunrise Enamel with diamond accents.
Necklace in epoxy resin/cold enamel and multi-sapphires in 18 carat gold by Nadine Assoy, enhanced with brilliant-cut diamonds.
The modern version of Emily Wheeler’s tennis bracelet in 18k gold, pink tourmaline and epoxy resin/lime green cold enamel. Wheeler also works with vitreous enamel.
Jenna Blake’s 18k gold epoxy resin/cold enamel crescent moons in fall 2022 colors with shimmering diamond accents.
Bea Bongiasca necklace in epoxy resin/cold enamel Letter A in 9K yellow gold with rainbow enamel.
“After the rain comes the rainbow” double pendant necklace in 18k gold by Marie Lichtenberg in epoxy resin/cold enamel with diamond accents.
Graffiti Collection 14k yellow gold and pink enamel earrings by Katherine Jetter.
Epoxy resin/cold enamel initial pendants by Eva Fehren.