Options when it comes to custom pin enamel!

Enameling is an ancient technique that has been used by artists for centuries to create exquisite pieces. At the Monterey Company, we are determined not to let this art form die.

The origins of this time-honored tradition are unknown, but the process is continuously innovated and improved upon. This technique begins with using a piece of colored glass or silica then adding other substances such as potash, borax, or soda to make it take on different characteristics so that it can be molded into different forms.

After the base material is made the enamel is then applied onto a metal, usually copper, gold, silver, or pre-coated iron or steel, and it is then fired in a furnace at extremely high temperatures- up to 1700 degrees!

Using enameling you can create unique effects such as softness or hardness, greater or lesser sparkle, and elasticity within your pieces. They can also be opaque, transparent, or opalescent. But, the real trick is that the combination of these materials creates brilliant, jewel-like colors fit for royalty.

Various techniques are used on the enamel to create these special effects. The enamel pieces may be sifted, painted, stenciled, sponged, dropped, or inlaid wet or dry directly onto the metal piece. Etching the metal, inlaying metal paillons, and high-firing also help to create unique aspects on each piece. Another popular technique is the use of sgraffito, which is a fancy name for a form of decoration made by scratching through a surface to reveal a lower layer of a contrasting color, typically done before the firing process.

The art of enameling is constantly being refined and new techniques such as raku-firing are being created to further customize each special piece. By combining all of these techniques, our talented and experienced artists can create exactly what you envision for your custom enamel pin. Call now for a consultation!