What is Keum-boo?
Although the exact origins of this ancient Korean technique are obscure, in some parts of Asia it is still believed that pure gold improves health, longevity, wealth and wellbeing. This technique is in fact widely used in other cultures such as Japan and China. Keum-boo drives its name from the symbol keum meaning gold and boo which means attached. It consists of a process that bonds pure 24k gold foil to the surface of another metal, usually fine silver. The metallurgy behind this beautiful process is one where gold attaches to fine silver through a diffusion bond, an atom exchange at the interface of the two metals, by heating the metal to a precise temperature and applying pressure with hand burnishing.
What is Basse-taille?
Basse Taille is an enameling process that uses transparent enamels over a metal that has been engraved, etched, or embossed. This French word, which means low-cut, describes a technique that dates back to Renaissance Europe 14th- 16th century. It refers to works in which the surface of the metal has been textured, stamped, engraved, or etched to create a slight bas-relief. This background is then transformed when beautiful transparent colors are fired over the entire surface. As light is reflected back from the metal’s varying surfaces, the transparent enamels create illusionary depths and unique chatoyancy.
What is enamel?
Enamels are a combination of frit (clear, colorless glass) and metallic oxides. Colors are achieved by mixing different oxides together. The enamel is fused to a metal surface in a kiln to create a bond with the glass and metal. The art of enameling is an ancient technique spanning many cultures throughout the world.
What is Limoges?
Limoges enamel was named for the painterly enamel produced during the 15th Century in Limoges, France. A city that was already the most famous European center of champlevé enamel production by the 12th century, Limoges retained its lead from in the 15th century by switching to this form of painted enamel.
What is China Paint?
A technique that was originally borrowed from ceramic traditions, China paints are an overglaze consisting of finely ground ceramic pigments mixed with glass into a fine powdered mesh, similar to powdered sugar. This 500 mesh powder is mixed with oils and painted in multiple successive layers individually to build depth and intricate details in portraits or other painterly compositions, which become vitrified when fired in a kiln at 1350° degrees.
What is Bimetal?
A layer of 18k gold is bonded with sterling silver to form a sheet of precious metal with two distinct surfaces.