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An important clarifying exchange about cloisonne work

November 16 2003 at 7:44 AM

ThomasM  (Premier Login thepurist178)
AP Discussion Group


Response to My emotional encounter with MJLC enamel works (Warning, many photos!) (by Jaw)

Simon Bryquer
(no login)
Fantastic. Great work. Just curious do they also do November 13 2003, 9:03 PM

enamel works in the cloisonné style?

Truly beautiful. These enamels are art for art sake within an horological work. Great essay.

Simon B.




Jaw
(no login)
In my personal opinion, probably not... November 14 2003, 5:18 AM

The Cloisonne enamel is also to be appreciated.

After seeing Miklos and Sophie at work, I feel that the Cloisonne method is much simpler, and take less effort and time.

Historically, I think Miklos chooses the most difficult enamelling method.

Jaw



Simon Bryquer
(no login)
Simpler in what way? November 14 2003, 9:58 PM

It is my understanding that in cloisonné, in addition to applying enamel, one also outlines each miniscule shape with a microscopically thin (gold but mostly copper)wire, sometimes filigree wire. I don't know what cloisonné examples you've seen that makes you come to the conclusion that it is a simpler art.

Are we speaking of the cloisonné miniature masterpieces of the Renaissance, especially the Florentine works and later the French or during the Golden Age of Cyprus were it originated. By the way the Chinese have a great tradition of cloisonné that goes back to the end Yuan Dynasty ( 1271-1368) or as some claim to Emperor Zhu Zhangji at the beginning of the Ming Dynasty( 1368-1648) but the technique is somewhat different.

Wonder what Miklos Merczel would have to say about the art of cloisonné.

Simon




Curtis
(Login watchmaker)
AHCI Forum Moderator
I agree>>> November 15 2003, 2:53 PM

Hi Simon,

It is my belief that cloisonne is a more technically challenging enamelling technique than painted enamel. This is not to diminish one technique against the other, as both require great skill and talent, but I fully believe painted enamelling is one of the least challenging forms (relatively speaking ). I am very impressed with the work of Miklos, but I fancy the work and talent of Anita Porchet. I was fortunate enough to meet her at Basel this year and see some of her work. I do not know enough about the subject to say she is the best, but I do know enough that her name must be included in any discussion about enamellers in the watch industry.

Cheers,

Curtis



Simon Bryquer
(no login)
I was essentially responding to Jaw November 15 2003, 4:51 PM

calling cloisonné a simpler form of enameling.

And I totally agree with you Curtis, it is perhaps the most complex and difficult form to master. The Frick Museum in New York has perhaps one of the most comprehensive collection of cloisonné miniatures that can be seen anywhere. Curtis, if you're ever in NYC make sure not to miss it. I'm assuming you live in Europe.

In no way would I say anything to take away from Miklos' outstanding achievement in the craft. I just wondered if Miklos practiced cloisonné, because it is my preferred method of enameling.

Thanks for the response -------------- Simon



Jaw
(no login)
Thanks for sharing.. November 15 2003, 5:16 PM

Always welcome your very measured and well thought out response.




Curtis
(Login watchmaker)
AHCI Forum Moderator
Actually, I live in PA, but will be living in CA from December forward>>> November 15 2003, 6:59 PM

Hi Simon,

For the record, I know you were not saying "anything to take away from Miklos" and am sorry if my response seemed to imply that. I was speaking for myself - I think cloisonne is more difficult and that I prefer Anita as a talent - not to take anything away from Miklos who is clearly gifted.

Funny, I live 3 hrs. from NYC but I have spent significantly more time in Switzerland! LOL In fact, I have neglected one of the world's great cities and don't know when I will have the chance to visit NYC, as we will be living in CA shortly. You don't appreciate what you have until its gone (or until you move across the country!).


Cheers,

Curtis

* I did live in England (lived in Wales studied in England) for 18 months - been back in the States for 2 yrs. now.



Jaw
(no login)
Example of a great cloisonne work.. November 15 2003, 8:06 PM




Unfortunately, not all cloisonne dial can be this good.




Simon Bryquer
(no login)
Interesting example but when I think of cloisonné November 16 2003, 7:26 AM

I think of those intricate and complex miniatures that at first glance look like a magnificent enamel landscape, still-life, portrait or whatever, -- even in the abstract or non-objective examples of the art, minute detail is the dominant challenge of the cloisonné artist -- but then upon closer examination one notices fragile lines of gold defining and detailing the shape of faces, garments, nudes, trees, arrangements of fruit or flowers and etc.

What this delicate line of gold/copper or whatever the precious metal used is, it adds a dimension of luminosity and transcendence to a flat surface like in Porchet's series on Vermeer paintings. I'm looking for good photos of works like these but can't seem to find any on the web. Last year sometime there was a beautiful collection of pocket watches auctioned by Antiqorum. Truly masterpieces of cloisonné pocket watches.

I'm still looking and when I find them I'll post them.

Simon B.



Jaw
(no login)
Anita Porchet... November 15 2003, 5:15 PM

Indeed, Anita Porchet is proabaly the only one left still able to supply to Jaquet Droz and Patek Phillippe etc with great enamels and should be included in any discussions about great enamellists.

My apology if I came across as depreciating the art of cloisonne which should be admired as a separate skill, but in Cloisonne enamels, there is cloisonne and there is cloisonne.

A mediocre cloisonne enamelist can simply divide the dial into 3 to 6 sections by using gold wire for example in any shape he or she chooses and filled each carved out section with ONE colour without careful consideration of how each colour turns out (making strange and random geometric shapes with faded colour or colours) while others are doing it seriously.

Of some of the Cloisonne enamel dials turn out in certain brands, what I should have said is that it would be easier to get away with poorly made cloisonne dial without attracting too much criticism.

My apology.

Another fantastic example of great enamel art.

img src="">

Jaw


Curtis
(Login watchmaker)
AHCI Forum Moderator
Beautiful work - Thanks! -nt November 15 2003, 7:00 PM

nt

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Simon Bryquer
(no login)
Also, just an additional word, regarding Anita Porchet she is the one that November 15 2003, 5:19 PM

did a rendition of Vermeer's 'Lacemaker' in cloisonné and also has done work for Jaquet Droz, who by the way did some extraordinary cloisonné watches in the past, one might even say among the best.


Simon B.



Jaw
(no login)
Certainly I am a great admirer of Anita too.. (nt) November 15 2003, 5:22 PM

....although my personal preference is atill Miklos' way of doing it, seeing how he has done his work in the most intricate ways. I guess personal involvement makes the difference.

Jaw



 
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