This jewelry is made from sterling silver, fine silver, and cloisonné enamel. The color portions are european vitreous enamel fired from four to seven times in a kiln at approximately 1400°F. The lines separating the different areas of color are very slender wires of pure silver which are manipulated into shape, forming cells, from which comes the term cloisonné, French for "little cells". These wires are fired onto the surface of the metal, and then surrounded with powdered enamel (glass) mixed with water. The piece is fired to melt the glass into a solid plane, and then ground by hand to achieve the final surface. After a final firing, the piece is assembled with the finished enamel and other components.
The enamel colors will not fade, but glass is somewhat fragile, and so may crack or chip under rough treatment.
The colored portions are Schauer enamel on fine silver. Most pieces are fired to 1450° -1500° F at least 5 times. The rest of the jewelry is made of sterling silver. The dangle earrings hang on a hand-made sterling silver French earwire, and the post earrings have a heavy sterling earring post. Each small locket has one enameled panel, set in sterling, and has a sterling back; some are pierced. The large lockets either have two enamel panels, or one enamel, and a pierced sterling back. The lockets are hung on a 24" length of sturdy sterling long and short link chain. For an additional cost, they can be hung on either snake chain (add $10.00,) or bead chain (add $6.00.)
Jai Williams is a jewelry-maker / artist / enamelist who lived in Eugene, Oregon. She recieved her BFA in metals from SUNY New Paltz, and her MFA in metals from the University of Oregon. She and her children, Jessica and James,
For a more detailed biographical sketch of the artist, click HERE .
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Last updated: 05/04/2007