Getting right to the point:
Here it is!
I'll be quite honest. This piece takes my breath away!
This is plique-a-jour enamel with 18 karat gold wire, a wonderful, very valuable Art Nouveau piece made by a master. I found the photo at Pinterest, and it led to Sotheby's Auction House, so you know it had to be an important piece.
The description read (quoting):
"18 KARAT GOLD, PLIQUE-À-JOUR ENAMEL PENDANT-BROOCH AND CHAIN, MARCUS & CO., CIRCA 1900 Designed as an articulated Morning Glory motif, the petals and leaves applied with various colors of plique-à-jour enamel, the branches applied with translucent green enamel, signed Marcus & Co., together with a pale green enamel link necklace, length 18½ inches, unsigned. With original fitted case signed Marcus & Co., with section underneath for the necklace."
I find this piece not only amazing, but inspirational, just as the Chihuly glass poppies inspired me last month when I visited the Bellagio hotel in Las Vegas.
First of all, the workmanship of the brooch is beyond belief. Plique-a-jour enamel has no backing; the enamel is set up like cloisonne but there is nothing behind it....leaving the light in, "windows to light". The wire would first be manipulated by hand and soldered at every joint, delicately, finely, with no over-flow. Then just IMAGINE setting the enamel....some of us have tried a form of this method by placing filigree on heavy packing tape and filling the openings with colored resin.
We quickly found it it was not a cakewalk to do, even though what WE were attempting was rudimentary use of resin. The use of enamel in this way is mind-boggling.
Not to be deterred, however, some of us were inspired by the COLOR and a dialogue was started at the Brenda Sue Lansdowne page at Facebook.
Liz, who loves polymer clay, began to mentally work out a pattern with wire and share it with us. She felt the piece lent inspiration to polymer clay work. I think so, too!
Then, Wendy Morris shared that she had made a little ring in similar colors to the brooch:
The dragonfly appears to be made of gilding brass. Gilding brass is that heavier weight stuff that you often find in the old gingerbread. I have some butterflies here kinda-sorta like this.
Gilding brass also often has little 'wells' for epoxy resin enamel, or back in the day, hard glass fused enamel done in a kiln.
To achieve the color, Wendy used Ranger Perfect Pearls and a little glitter. I'm not sure what she used to seal, but Diamond Glaze, Nunn Design Sealant, even ICE Resin would work nicely.
I LOVE the color and the feel of her piece.
This is a brilliant example to show you of how someone can view a work of art and feel moved by it. One may realize that what they are viewing is the work of a master, and that they themselves may lack the skill, or time/desire to develop that exact skill. But! instead of being daunted by not having the skill..... the inspiration moves them to try a new idea, or take a new tack with a skill that they HAVE acquired.
And Liz, when you get some morning glories made, we'd love to see them at The B'sue Boutiques Creative Group Perfect Pearls are FAB over polymer clay, and I bet they would just gleam over translucent clay (which Liz mentioned in the thread).