Artistic Glass-Enamel

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The term “enamel” is etymologically related to the term “smalt”, derived from the Germanic "smalt", i.e. "melt". Glass enamel is an enamel based on fine glass powder, fixing by melting. It is used everywhere as a resistant finishing coating for ceramic and metal utensils, ceramic tiles, metal and faience plumbing, plating baths and chemical equipment, surfaces of kitchen stoves, washing machine, and water heater tanks, medical and food processing equipment.

 
Glass-Enamel
Glass-Enamel
 Artistic enamel is a material with a relatively rich palette, excellent durability, and brilliance, widespread in pottery and tile art. The enameling of ceramic products gives them hygienic properties characteristic of glass, makes them smooth, shiny and strengthens the surface (the appearance of the faience cup before enameling can be represented by a rough rim on its bottom or side). Before the spread of durable polymer decals used today to decorate cheap faience dishes, the colorful pattern was applied on ceramics by hot enameling only.

Art enamel. 16th century. France.
Art enamel. 16th century. France.

Artistic enamel painting on ceramics or more refractory glass is technologically quite simple and widespread even in amateur conditions (a method of firing enamel products in a household microwave oven is known). To obtain different colors, either colored glasses are ground, or pigments are added to the finished powder or slip. It is necessary to distinguish the traditional hot enamel from modern polymer paints and decals - materials that cheapen the technology, do not require high temperatures for fixing but also do not have durability and characteristic pictorial features of glass.

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