Champleve Spoon Bowls

Champleve (accent over the second e) is a French technique for producing an enamel effect that looks like the very difficult cloissone.

In cloissone, a skilled craftsman solders very thin wires to a silver surface creating a pattern. Enamel is then placed in the cloissons (cells) and fired until it bonds with the silver. The effect is very pretty, but to produce items in this style is very difficult and time consuming. Examples of this technique may be seen in the Russian spoon exhibit.

In champleve, the cells are created by a machine in the die stamping process. This is much faster and cheaper than the cloissone technique. The vast majority of enamel spoons use this technique.

I recently found a "blank" champleve spoon. The spoon was designed to have enamel, but for some reason the process was never carried to fruition.

"blank" designed to make an enamel California poppy (the state flower). The picture is not as revealing as the spoon. One can easily feel the deep cloissons. Notice how there is slight ribbing in the flowers. If a transparent enamel were used, the ribbing would show thru and give the effect of guilloche work. The stem is a typical multi-scene California souvenir spoon handle.

Example of a completed champleve scene (Chicago)

Example of a completed champleve spoon (Oklahoma)

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