STudio Buttons by Diane Echnoz Almeyda
Seldom seen, and practiced by few…..
Those words certainly describe the technical "tour-de-force" of enameling, plique-a-jour (pronounced pleek-a-shure). Though considered the most difficult of enameling techniques, many believe it is also the most beautiful.
Diane Echnoz Almeyda is considered one of the top Plique-a-jour artists in the US and probably the world. Her work is created in one of two ways:
- Fligree: forming and soldering fine silver wires together to make a framework or “skeleton” for the enamel to span, or
Pierced: sawing a design in a sheet of sterling or fine silver and enameling the open areas that are removed.
The enamel placement is the same for both techniques. Ground glass (vitreous enamel) is wet-packed into the cells formed by the metal. It is then fired in a kiln until the glass fuses, both to itself and to the metal outlines. This process is not completed in one firing, but may take upwards of 20 packing and firings for a small piece and possibly 100 in a large work. Time and temperature are critical as, since there is no metal backing to keep the enamel in place, care must be taken to ensure the enamel does not fall out the back side. A challenge! But…the reward comes in the finished work of art. Truly a joy to behold!
All of Diane's buttons are backmarked, when there is room (ex: on Filigree pieces there is no room), and constructed of fine or sterling silver. She creates:
- Metal, no enamel
- Archived Buttons
All buttons are Limited Editions of 5. Diane welcomes custom work. If a button is marked as SOLD, Diane can make you the next in the LE. Just contact Karen L Cohen for details.
Note: enamel is difficult to photograph, but plique is that much harder as it really requires back lighting. That being said, the photos below do not reflect back lighting and thus you cannot see the transparency. But be assured, these are "see through".
Diane's work is guaranteed. If you are not totally pleased with a button, return it within 7 days for a full refund, excluding shipping and insurance both ways, in the same condition it was originally shipped.
Diane is featured in my book, The Art of Fine Enameling. In addition to having done the plique-a-jour project, one of her plique filigree baskets is shown on the inside cover page. I'm sure that you will agree that her work is beautiful. Diane's website shows some of her non-button items like vessels and her doll house miniatures (she creates plique "stained glass windows", door transits, "iron railings" and much more).
Go Back to Button Index for all styles of buttons