The enamel of Limoges is a old french tradition. This craft industry is located in this city since the XIIth century and also known under the name of “Oeuvre de Limoges“. The workshop of enamel in Limoges has won the monopol of painted enamel since XVth century. The technique of enamel is, for the artist, to create cells in a sheet of copper (this material was cheap at this time and a good alternative to gold or silver) filled with a powder of glass (sand, quartz…), close to crystal. The color depends on the number of coats of enamel and firing. The delimitation is made with a needle in order to scratch until the dark background. They put the sheet in an oven to melt the glass (copper also guarantee unifmorty with glass firing) until the artist think his work is ready. They can then add some gold and other elements. The goldsmith-enamellers have early won an international fame, especially over the borders of Italy or Spain. This recognition is espacially due to the family Limosin.
Originally, the enamel was destinated to religious objects or to bind books (more accessible than gold or silver objects…). As every craft, the technique and purposes have changed. Today, even if the craft industry of Limoges follows the tradition of the original subjects ; those traditional enamels must now cohabit with a “new enamel”.
That is the work of one of those modern enamellers that I want to share with you : Pierre Christel. I discovered him for years in his gallery and that was a great pleasure to see how this artist has introduce, since 1990, a renew of enamel in Limoges.
He makes abstract creations : picture but also jewels and glass. He succeeds to play with a real effect of relief and material (crystal, golden leaf…). A perfect balance between tradition and modernity. With his work, the renowned of the enamel of Limoges will still last a new era.
See more on : http://www.galeriechristel.com/accueil/index.html