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[Enamel Bits] En Resille

Hi all, does anyone know what: En R?ille enamelling is?


Richard, R?ille is a French word, meaning “hairnet”. The base of the
enamel is crystal instead of metal. The crystal was engraved with a
design and the engraved pattern was then lined with gold. The lines
were then filled with a very soft, low-fire enamels. It has the
quality of a fine woven net, thus the name. It is a rare form of
enameling and I have only seen pictures of it. It does look a little
like cloisonn? I have always wanted to experiment with enameling on
crystal but haven’t yet. This form of enameling is suppose to be
extremely challenging and it sure sounds like it to me. It came out
of France in the late 16th century from the French goldsmiths. This
came out of an enameling book I have, but gives no
direction on how to complete the task. I just read up on it as I am
preparing to teach an enameling class.

Linda Crawford Designs
Willits, CA

To Richard. According to the “Dictionary of Enamelling” compiled by
Erica Speel the full name of this technique is Email en resille sur
verre. She defines it as “Enamel fused into sunken goldlined cells or
incisions in a medallion of trenslucent glass, ground and polished to
a smooth surface.” It seems this is or was a decorative technique in
use in the 17th. century for small items such as watch cases and
jewlery. However some ancient Greek and Roman examples have been
catalogued. Cavaties or depressions are somehow formed in thin pieces
of glass. These cavaties are lined with gold foil and filled with
enamel. As you can imagine firing this presents quite a challange.
The piece must be put into a cold kiln, brought to firing temp. and
then allowed to come down slowly to room temperature. For those who
want to know just about everything about enamelling I recommend Erica
Speel Dictionary published by Ashgate Publishing Co. and obtainable
through Thompson Enamel Co. Hannah in Seattle.

En resille is a technique of carving a design in glass crystal, lining
the grooves with gold, and then placing the enamel in the depressions
over the gold. This technique seems to have had its heyday in
sixteenth century aand early seventeenth century France.

Hello Richard,

Hi all, does anyone know what: En R?ille enamelling is?

In response to your query this is what I found in the “Dictionary of
Enamelling, History and Techniques” by Erika Speel (1998) Ashgate
Publishing Company, Vermont, U.S.A.

quote: Email en resille sur verre

Enamel fused into sunken gold-line cells or incsions in a medallion
of translucent glass, ground and polished to a smooth surface.

This is the rarest of the enamelling techniques and is essentially a
style of of glass decoration…

The techniques appears to have had an ancient history… end of quote.

Ms Speel has written much more on the matter, and if you are
interested in more I would suggest that you buy the book.
It is wonderfully written and is full of detail with abundant cross
references. In my opinion (for what it’s worth) every lover of the
enamels and enamelling should have it at his or her bedside or

Hope this helps.


According to my French dictionary, the word resille means hairnet
and lead bars over window, but I have never heard nor read about
this term in enamelling. Miki

En R?ille enamelling is very delicate and fragile. R?ille means
hairnet. Instead of a metal base, a crystal base is used. Lines are
carved into the base and are filled with gold, then enamels are fused
on the surface. It appears to be gold cloisonne wire, but closer
inspection reveales that it isn’t. There is a small write up
regarding this historic technique in “The Enamelist” by Kenneth

May you always enamel with passion in your heart

Joan Schlaifer
Schlaifer’s Enameling Supplies
1441 Huntington Dr. PMB 1700
South Pasadena, CA 91030
(800) 525-5959 (626) 441-1127