Originally Posted by caponerd
Cloisonne is a misnomer. The correct name for this type of enamelwork is "Champleve" (with a little accent over the last e, as also should exist in cloisonne)
Both techniques involve enamel with a design created by having bare metal exposed in the enamel.
The difference is that with cloisonne, the design is in the form of a line drawing created using copper or silver wire bent to shape and embedded in the enamel, or soldered to the base metal.
Champleve, on the other hand creates a design by either embossing the metal or engraving it to leave raised metal with the spaces between filled with enamel.
It always irks me when I see advertisements in the BMWON magazine for "cloisonne" pins and badges, when they're clearly NOT cloisonne.
I've done a few badges using etched metal (not direct copies of BMW roundels), which are superior to all the modern production badges I've seen, even the ones sold by BMW dealers. Good enamelwork requires a lot of hand finishing to get a perfect finish.
I love this place. I knew the cloisonne part, but couldn't come up with champleve. It all flooded back upon reading your description. Funny, I had a discussion about enameling at "biker event" last night and quoted one of Oppi Untract's jewelry books here recently.
Do you mind me asking if you refire the enamel to brigh the final gloss up or do you sand and polish to get the final enamel level and the correct finish?