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The Craft of Enamelling

Our enamels demonstrate the very best of British craftsmanship and our craftsmen take great pride in delivering luxury products of the highest standard. Each of our beautiful handcrafted enamel boxes is a work of art in its own right. The production of enamels requires meticulous craftsmanship, using a process that has been handed down for generations. The art of enamelling on copper first started in England in the 1740s and was in danger of dying out completely before Halcyon Days revived this master art in 1950.

THE ENAMEL PRODUCTION PROCESS

Stage 1: Copper

The basic shapes of all our Halcyon Days enamel boxes are formed by being pressed from fine sheets of copper. The copper is then washed in various solutions including soapy water, acid and clean water to cleanse and etch the surface of the copper. This procedure is crucial to prepare the surface to hold the first coat of enamel.

Stage 2: Enamelling

Liquid enamel is made from small glass particles called ‘frit’, which are ground down to form a fine powder. This is then mixed with china clay and water. The copper parts are then carefully dipped or sprayed with the mixed enamel liquid and fired in a kiln for 8 minutes or so at a temperature of 800°C, fusing and covering to the copper. This process is repeated at least five times to ensure that the finish is hard, glossy and flawless. This is essential as a base for the various stages of decorative applications that follow. Stringent inspections are carried out to check for any blemishes and all imperfect parts are rejected as they occur. 

Halcyon Days - Copper Lids

Halcyon Days is known as the guardian of enamelling

 

Pamela Harper, Chairman & CEO of Halcyon Days

Halcyon Days - Handcrafted Enamel Boxes

Halcyon Days - Craft of Enamelling

Stage 3: Application of lithographic transfer

A transfer is placed onto the enamel providing the outline of the design. The enamel is fired for two minutes at 700°C to fuse the transfer and is then checked for any blemishes that may have occurred whilst firing.

Stage 4: Painting

A highly skilled artisan hand paints the design using enamel paints made from finely ground glass, metal oxides and oil. Depending on the complexity of the design, the painting can take between a few hours and many days to complete. Upon completion, the enamel receives a final firing and is then checked again for any flaws.

Stage 5: Assembly

The components of each design are assembled together by using a mount and to ensure the perfect fit, some of the enamel edges are levelled by a procedure called linishing. The boxes are assembled using an adhesive, which is applied to both sides of the mount and then placed into a low temperature heat for 5-10 minutes.

Stage 6: High quality inspection

A final, meticulous inspection then takes place, ensuring our customers receive the highest quality finished product. Our enamel boxes are then packed into luxurious presentation boxes.

Halcyon Days - Bases to Enamel Egg Boxes

Halcyon Days - Shop the Tiger Prestige Box