After a long hiatus I have decided to pursue a rather ambitious medallion concept that has been plaguing my brain for ages. I’ve been inspired to create a floral collection with a Champlevé look. Champlevé is the French term for ‘raised field’. It is the technique of enameling in which enamel is placed in stamped or cut recesses of a metal form. I wanted to combine various design aspects from the Tapestry collection, the Amulet collection, and the Flourish collection to create a bigger, bolder, more detailed flower collection in a Champlevé style. But in order to do so, I had to rethink how I normally build a flower medallion…
I chose to approach the construction of this collection with an Intaglio technique that has probably been around since man discovered clay. Intaglio is a method of decoration in which a design is cut into the surface. Intaglio is commonly used to make engraved seals, where it leaves a raised design on the material being stamped. In my case I plan to use the carvings as molds, casting a relief version on the clay, creating the wells or recesses in which to place the colored enamels.
Here is the first look at my Hand Carved Flower Molds:
I have created the 42 flower designs above using simple tools such as a nail to draw the image into the wet clay and then an X-Acto knife to carve and clean out the nail groves after the clay is fired.
I plan to cast 5-10 of each design. After the flowers are cast, and cured, I’ll need to carve, clean and bevel the edges, then add the bead heads and eventually I hope to finish this collection with a faux bronze or copper base with acrylic glazes in place of enamels. However, this is definitely a work in progress so I’m figuring it out as I go. I’m really excited about the process and I hope it turns out as I’ve imagined it! I’ll keep you posted!