On the B'sue Boutiques Facebook Page, Wendy Morris referred to a beautiful locket she'd seen that had color added to filigree.
You can find her post on the page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bsue-Boutiques/123052674404364
When this is done, the filigree acts like the cloisons in cloisonne jewelry. This is what Wikipedia says about the term, cloissone:
"Cloisonné is an ancient technique for decorating metalwork objects, in recent centuries using vitreous enamel, and in older periods also inlays of cut gemstones, glass, and other materials. The resulting objects can also be called cloisonné. The decoration is formed by first adding compartments (cloisons in French) to the metal object by soldering or adhering silver or gold wires or thin strips placed on their edges. These remain visible in the finished piece, separating the different compartments of the enamel or inlays, which are often of several colors. Cloisonné enamel objects are worked on with enamel powder made into a paste, which then needs to be fired in a kiln.
The technique was in ancient times mostly used for jewellery and small fittings for clothes, weapons or similar small objects decorated with geometric or schematic designs, with thick cloison walls. In the Byzantine Empire techniques using thinner wires were developed to allow more pictorial images to be produced, mostly used for religious images and jewellery, and now always using enamel. By the 14th century this enamel technique had spread to China, where it was soon used for much larger vessels such as bowls and vases; the technique remains common in China to the present day, and cloisonné enamel objects using Chinese-derived styles were produced in the West from the 18th century."
I had a look at the pieces Wendy referenced, and they reminded me of a technique I had learned using COLORES resin enamel which you can purchase from Rio Grande.
To achieve the look, you must securely tape (as well as burnish DOWN the tape) the back of the filigree. Then, using COLORES, you would use a syringe to place tiny bits of resin in each opening in the filigree. You would let the piece cure, and carefully pull the tape away from the back---ever so gently. The result would be sorta-kinda like cloisonne----but also like plique-a-jour enamelling, which does not have any backing and is simply the openings filled with enamel.
About plique-a-jour, Wikipedia says:
"Plique-à-jour (French for "letting in daylight") is a vitreous enamelling technique where the enamel is applied in cells, similar to cloisonné, but with no backing in the final product, so light can shine through the transparent or translucent enamel. It is in effect a miniature version of stained-glass and is considered very challenging technically: high time consumption (up to 4 months per item), high failure rate, requires psychological strength to start over. The technique is similar to that of cloisonné, but using a temporary backing that after firing is dissolved by acid or rubbed away."
Here is a photo of a vintage plique-a-jour piece from the Art Nouveau period. A very pale tinted translucent enamel was used:
I suggested that the technique Wendy saw and got excited about could be attempted---perhaps! with Lumiere paints. You could coat the piece and let the paint fill the gaps in the filigree and then wipe away, cleaning the brass.
After cure, perhaps a couple light coats of ICE resin would hold the paint, and you could peel the back off, leaving the color.
Deb Beechy got excited about the suggestion and took on the challenge:
This is her filigree with the painted filigree 'cloisons'. Deb took on the tedious task of using a tiny paint brush and filling all the openings, using Lumiere paint after securely taping the back. GORGEOUS COLOR CHOICE, Deb!
Now, we're all waiting with baited breath to see what happens when the paint is cured and Deb can apply ICE. The critical moment will be when she pulls the tape off the back....will the resin grab the paint, or will it just peel off?
JUST A TIP: If you get a copy of EXPORE, CREATE, RESINATE by Jen Cushman, you will see there is a chapter about adding color to ICE brand resin. It has the same effect as the COLORES resin, but a fraction of the cost. The COLORES kits are expensive; you can add and mix color yourself to your liking to ICE.....again, another reason why ICE brand resin will be want you want to use.
If Deb had used color mixed into ICE and then 'painted' that into the filigree, I'm fairly sure her results would be completely positive.
Lumiere Paints can be ICED over once cured, but I would not add them to ICE resin as a colorant as they are water-based. It is recommended that you use OIL PAINTS for colorant for best result, if you go that route.
Also, looking back at the photo, it might be that she has just painted the tape---she'll know when she goes to peel it! If that's the case, this is so pretty---stop, and find a way to keep the tape on and work around it. Perhaps the filigree could be mounted somehow. Quite possibly the best way will be to use ICE with oil paint colorant....in the long run. We'll see!
MEANTIME....stay tuned! Experiments are wonderful! We may be on to something new and fabulous, here!