Cloisonne Enamel

Georgia is a country of rich cultural traditions. Thanks to these traditions it’s become possible nowadays to revive and develop particular branches of Georgian art. One of them is Georgian enamel.
As it is known, enamel technology was widely spread in Georgia and Byzantium in the middle ages. There are still lots of monuments remaining of those times. However scientists still doubt whether Georgia or Byzantium is the cradle of this amazing craft. It’s also worth mentioning that despite close contacts with Byzantine culture Georgian enamel differs with wide range of distinctive features (in Georgian enamel green and crimson are deeper), which points out its peculiarity.
Georgian enamel has its own history that covers formidable period of time:
The first works of enamel art that survived the time are dated back to VIII A.D. The craft especially prospered in X-XI centuries – the period when Georgian political and economic life reached high standards favoring development of different fields of culture.
Nearly in XV century – when the country was already weakened by numerous invasions – enamel technology stopped its evolution and was forgotten for long. The latest enamel work - “St. George fighting with a Dragon” – belongs to this particular period (XV A.D.).
Since nineties, after a long pause, enamel art has started to flourish again and today lots of craftsmen work in this direction making it possible to restore and further develop enamel technology in the future.


Enamel Technology

The process of enameling is carried out in several stages. At first the surface of a flat metal plate (made of copper, silver or gold) is partitioned and then filled with enamel. Afterwards the plate is placed in a special stove where it is “baked” at a certain temperature. The next stage is refining and polishing the surface of the ”baked” plate. After going through the described stages the product takes its final shape.
Enamel – the substance similar to firm glass coating - is used to cover the surface of the product. Here are the main components of almost all kinds of enamel: silicium dioxide SiO2, boron anhydride B2O3, aluminum oxide Al2O3, titanium oxide TiO2, oxides of alkali and alkali soil metals, lead and zinc oxides, some fluorides and etc. There are two types of enamel: priming and coating. Priming enamel contains tenacious materials and is used as an intermediate layer between a metal plate and a top layer, while coating is used to cover the surface itself.