MASKING of OPENINGS Part – I

Post 507  by Gautam Shah

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Wikipedia Outside Looking In Author Stephen Kelly

Masking is an overlay over any opening like a window, door or gap. The overlay could be an additional system, opportunistic exploitation of surroundings, or an arrangement of perception. The masking of opening is a facilitation through transitional delay in time and space creating partial or complete disguise through shielding, blurring, selective camouflage or obscuration. Functionally, transitions through the openings are controlled, directed or curtailed through with use physical elements and effects are added or subtracted by sensory processes.

Wayna Picchu viewed from Machu Picchu’s access gate Wikipedia Pic by Author Martin St-Amant (S23678)

Primary masking occurs, on how an opening is framed within a barrier system. The opening occurs as a cut, puncture, or cleavage within a barrier, or at the overlapping edges of two barriers. Masking becomes effective with the scale of the opening in comparison to the size or extent of the barrier. A smaller opening and an extensive barrier, both create an ’imposing’ framing’. The framing of built openings need a heading or lintel, and to support the head and super structures, sides are abutted with additional structures. Such side structures or portals add to the framing of the opening. Built opening require controller of transitions like ‘shutters’, and these require jambs, frames or stoppers. In arched and angled portals, for functional reasons door framing structures are square headed, creating shape-masking. The shutter devices have some technological limitations like a door cannot be two wide, or else it sags or deforms. It cannot be too extensive in size as the wood or metals did not permit very large shutters. These factors imposed scale-masking.

Japan Geppa-ro tea pavilion Wikipedia Pic by Author Raphael Azevedo Franca

Kunhar River, near the village of Naran, Kaghan Valley, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa-NWFP, Pakistan

Natural and built gaps gain importance on what view they frame. The view could be the rising or setting sun, a mountain range or valley beyond, a water body, or a plaza, street or roof tops. Where such views are not straight aligned or perfectly frontal, the viewing position is architecturally adjusted or furniture layout is attuned to it. The view curiosity is build up by denying the view till one arrives at the perfect place. The masking of view out or inward is done through real or make-believe depths formed by repetition of series of identical, receding or increasing frames. Such multiple masking frames occur in colonnades, corridors, passages, avenues and walkways.

Colonnades of Saint Peter’s Square > Source: Wikipedia -Flickr: Piazza San Pietro, Rome, Italy by Author tekaybe

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SPACE USE

Post 506  by Gautam Shah

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A space encounter, first ever or with familiar ones, actuates a search for the most appropriate location, orientation and body posture, amenities, facilities, supports, and environmental conditions, one needs to establish own-self. The search also includes many personal factors such as other people present and level of relationship with them, mood, past experiences, personal attitude (extrovert or introvert) and the purpose of visiting the space. The natural choice is some focal point of the space. It may not be the architectural-con-center, but has distinct affinity to the core zone of the space. To arrive and immediately reach a peripheral section, one needs to be extraordinarily purposive, almost like a service personnel who intentionally avoids any interaction with the happening in space.

Pritzker Pavilion Wikipedia Pic by Author TonyTheTiger

The reach in space, and anchoring to some point does not last very long. One begins to absorb the space, and shifts to another body posture, sensorial connections, orientation and even moves to the next location. The shift continues till the search is satiated with the perfect spatial and environmental conditions, required amenities, facilities and other supports are available. All these are disregarded, if some known person or group is available for communication and participation.

Airport Lounge waiting Wikipedia-Flickr image by Author Phillip Capper from Wellington, New Zealand

Space occupation is achieved by

  1. Positioning own self at some important location (a Cris-cross point of many spatial lines), from which many activities can be sensorially perceived.
  2. Orienting to some dominating feature of the space (like an entrance door, window).
  3. Staying closer to some presence (wall, column, furniture, person).
  4. Establishing associating with other people by closer distancing or intra personal communication.
  5. Continually shifting, reorienting, to conceal the discomfort arising from inability to occupy the space.

Ben Yehuda Street pedestrian mall in Jerusalem, Israel > Wikipedia Pic by Author Yoninah

For space occupation important operative factors are: Range of cognition (capacity to perceive, project and communicate), Physical proximity (level of social interaction), Scale of relationship (age, social status), Nature of relationship (sex, familiarity) and Possibilities of exploiting amenities, facilities and other physical supports.

Party > Wikipedia pic by Author Infrogmation of New Orleans

A space user needs some control over the space:

1 Multiple opportunities to change the location and position (including the posture) within the space.

2 Choice to interact with others or refrain from it

3 Freedom to adjust to the spatial quality and environmental conditions at micro level (like moving towards an outward opening, seat, stand, rest) and thereby achieve an equilibrium and comfort.

4 Be noticed, or ignore others.

5 Use sub-core or peripheral zones to form intimate groups.

6 Shift to peripheral zones to conduct exclusive tasks.

7 Ways and means to leave the space either in full knowledge of others or without being noticed.

Chennai Central Railway station India > Wikipedia pic by Author w:user:Planemad

In very large spaces there are multiple points of anchorage for space occupation such as: the adjacent walls, hedges, mid columns, flower pots, water fountains, lamp posts, flooring, ceiling, and such patterns and objects. Spatial configurations like a stage, podiums, projection screens, speakers, singers, vivid objects, also hold interest by providing involvement.

In parties, hosts make a conscious effort to break intimate formations by removing or adding key or active persons, or re-positioning and rescheduling the activities. In clubs and places of entertainment the environment (change in lighting, furniture, equipments) and programmes are reset to shift the focus off certain space segments. Group gatherings are designed to occupy different space segments (hall, terrace, lounge, coffee room, library, garden lawn, etc.), variegated environmental conditions (bright vs diffused illumination, change of music, etc.) and diversions (toast by the host, magic shows, musical renderings, dancing, etc.).

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RELEVANCE of STANDARDS

Post 505  by Gautam Shah

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A standard is a requirement by tradition, acceptance, confirmation or law for certain type of practices, behaviour or compulsions. Standards are relevant for specific time and space context, after which they become abhorrent and ignored or are redefined.

Stack Holders Wikipedia image by Author UNDP

A standard could be an informal understanding or a document. As document, it explains the circumstances of its need, how it can be adhered to and, what are the consequences of compliance or noncompliance. Standards relate to practices or processes, material inputs for it, services, energy consumption, quality of deliverable and other byproducts. It relates to human and environmental affectations. New standards define the stack holders for any engagement, degree of transparency and norms for accountability.

Standards are widely accepted or agreed upon means for what a thing, happening or service should be. Standards include details about sizes, relationships, proportions, in their own and relative to the user, perceiver, etc. It details quality parameters and modalities of using and storing, and processing of materials, objects and structures. It concerns about interests of all stack-holders. It links with other standards to form an all-inclusive definition of creations, natural things and environment. It offers a common set of meanings, terms used in standards and provides common ways of interpretations. It sometimes offers ways of arrangements for implementing or enforcing, and the management through continued observance, redefinition, corrections, for whatever that is being documented.

ISO and UTS Thread Dimensions

Standards emerge as the most widely acceptable strategy, set through specifications. Standards generate a controlled response. Standards relate to specifications for making, maintaining, using and disposing objects, and mechanics of creation, handling, operations and management. Standards emerge from empathy or as a strategic understanding between two or more persons. Standards’ formation is a raison d’être for (reason for being) members of clan or society. Governments gain political power and patronage by administering standards. Regional blocks and International communities achieve efficiency by preventing conflict and duplication of effort through standards. Standards, very effectively and economically raise the levels of quality, safety, reliability, efficiency and commutability. Standards are negatively used to reduce competition, for promoting few things, controlling the invention, or formation of new or different knowledge.

Pic from en.wikipedia to Commons. Author Nimur at English Wikipedia

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LEVELS OF RELEVANCE

Standards are expected to achieve predictable results, by voluntary concurrence, obligation, or through enforcement. Standards are very powerful means to cause a change or even maintain status quo. The nature of Application of Standards takes many different forms with varying levels of credibility. Acceptance of standards if voluntary ensues a social respect or some form of elite status. The enforcement also may occur with social boycott, penalty or punishment.

Standards

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SURFACE FINISHING PROCESSES

Post 504  by Gautam Shah

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Surface Finishing is achieved by several processes such as: 1 Surface Levelling, 2 Surface Texturing, 3 Surface Property Modifications without resorting the first two, and 4 Embellishment with other materials.

Pic from Flickr by Nic McPhee

1 Surface Levelling is done by Removal of excess material, and Deposition of new materials.

Surface levelling is achieved by removing the texture or roughness forming excess material. For these surfaces are section re-cut, ground and polished. Stone surfaces are chipped with finer chisels, or wood faces are planned to level out the surface. Stone surfaces are dressed to remove the weathered crust. Rough cut or split (sedimentary) stones are spliced into two, by a smooth saw cut. Barks of the trees are removed by axes and choppers. Timbers are split very finely to create veneers. Leather surfaces are shaved for thinning and to remove the surface hair. Leathers are split to make uppers and soles. The palm leaves are shaved to remove the stems and make them smoother for writing. Singeing or burning the surface section is used for fabrics, leather and paper. High temperature singeing removes surface fibres or hair, deoxidize impurities and in case of metal harden the surface. Synthetic or composite textiles are selectively or locally singed to fuse the fibres or filaments, and create transparency, opacity, etc. Metal surfaces are rolled over to flatten out the undulations or ‘turned’ or ground.

Grinding and Polishing, are the two finer processes for surface-levelling of hard materials such as building stones, metals, glass, and precious and semiprecious gems, ivory, bones, leathers, timbers, pottery products, cement concrete and other cement products. Hard materials such as marble and granite, take a high gloss, whereas others like sand stones, are too coarse-grained to be polished, and can only be smoothed to a granular finish. Surface-levelling is done by sharp tools that chip away very thin section off the surface. Grinding is done by rubbing down with a graded series of coarse and fine abrasives, such as Carborundum, sandstone, emery, pumice, and whiting. Grinding wheels usually consist of particles of a synthetic abrasive, such as silicon carbide or aluminium oxide, mixed with a vitrified or resinoid bonding material. Grinding can be coarse or fine, depending on the size of the grit used in the grinding wheel. Polishing uses extremely fine abrasive substances, such as jeweller’s rouge, Tripoli, whiting, putty powder, and emery dust, to rub or burnish an extremely smooth and glossy finish on the surface of a material. Metal and glass can be ground to a mirror finish. Polishing is done by tumbling and vibratory mass-finishing media, sandblasting, pulp-stones, ball-mills etc. The polishing materials are coated on the surface of cloth, felt, or leather wheels. A special type of polishing wheel is made of soft rubber or plastics with the abrasive grains moulded into it.

Wikipedia Pic Diamond Polisher Pic by Author Andere Andre

Honing and Lapping, are used for very fine level of polishing by material removal process. Honing improves the accuracy and finish of motor car cylinder bores, hydraulic cylinders, and similar parts. There are four types of precision grinding machines: Center-type grinders, Center-less grinders, Internal grinders, and Surface or flat bench grinders.

Hubble Space Telescope Primary Mirror polishing

Other surface levelling processes include singeing, washing, bleaching, etching, and ironing. Wood surfaces on sintering create a dehydrated, old shrivelled, or shrunk surface similar to an old wood. Metal surfaces also burnt to harden the top surface and to remove oily residues, dehydrate, and descale the surface. Reverse of metal plating process removes the surface molecules to achieve matt finish.

Engraved amethyst Portrait of Roman Emperor Caracalla 212 AD

2 Surface Texturing is used to endow desired level of texture and in organized pattern format. This is done by chemical reactions with surface molecules and by mechanical means. Acid and Alkali etching are used for forming textures. Glass surfaces are etched with Hydrofluoric acid. Metals are acid etched and then neutralized with an alkali treatment. Water and solvents are used for surface making. High-speed jets of water are used to form surface patterns over partly set cement surfaces, Water used for washing out the top section of mosaic plasters to reveal the stone chips. Suctions are used to create textures in plaster surfaces. Paints are applied by roller to form granulated matt finish. Leathers, papers and plastics are hot pressed to imprint patterned textures. Recording media like CDs, DVDs have groves that store data.

Embossed leather Japan

3 Modifying or Refashioning the surface sections is done to change or equalize the surface properties of objects. Metal and glass surfaces are de-stressed by controlled radiation including heat treatment. Annealing and Hardening, are heating and cooling processes to change the molecular arrangements within the entire body, or just surface sections. In case of polymers heat treatments are used for chain linking. Textiles become de-creased or creased on pressurized with heat treatment.

crimped hair

4 Embellishment with other materials, are used in a superfluous or applique process or as an integrated process.

Applique processes are like casing, cladding, layering, or lamination, lapping, gilding and coating. Cladding is common in masonry work for a new surface, insulation, waterproofing, etc. Casing is done to metal structures for rust inhibition, static discharge, isolation and fire protection. Layering or lamination is common in composite formation through co-extrusion processes.

Metalized Film for car glass Wikipedia pic by Author (original uploader was Steevven1 at en.wikipedia)

Integrative surface processes are surface molecular deposition or surface alloying systems. Molecular deposition of metal compounds or ceramic forming (non-metal) materials achieve a very thin body deposition. Polyester metalized films offer solar radiation cut-off. Metal plating through anodic transfer also creates very thin body layering. Metal deposition over plastics, ceramics and filaments provide dual qualities. Coating systems form very vital field of material addition. Coatings are applied in a liquid phase or get converted to it, at the time of application (such as in case of powder coatings). Coating deposition is aided by electrical charge, pressure or spluttering. Many of the surface addition processes are intermediary treatments for the next lot of surface treatments. Alkaline or acidic washes or solvent wetting leaves substances that are beneficial for other subsequent applications. In medical field skins, tissues and muscles are planted to encourage fresh growth.

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WALLS through HISTORY

Post 503  by Gautam Shah

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Walls are erected as structures to bear the roof, to barricade settlements, to define passageways and to protect lands from tides and floods. Walls of abodes being too small in scale and strategically less important for continued care, rarely survive. Barricades for settlements such as fortifications are of grand scale and designed to resist ravages of time. Walls defining passageways are for land mass retention and ceremonial demarcation of walkways. Walls created for protection of land from sea water ingress and flooding, have remained all time necessities so rebuilt and reformed.

Natural wall > Organ Pipes, Victoria, Australia. Pic by : Nick carson at en.wikipedia

reconstructed Goseck Circle (prehistoric solar observatory) image by Kreuzschnabel/Wikimedia Commons, License: artlibre

US immigrants forming a wall of covered cart around the night halt camp

Walls are super structures rising above the lands, and are also subterranean features for platforms, dykes, canals and bunds. Walls are formed by nature due to directional erosion. Man-made walls are created by staging of the land, vegetation or snow mass. Fortification walls are of many types situational conditions of nature, man-made structures of animals, carts and building materials. All man-made structures have peculiar geometry that makes it easy to recognize in their trace forms or buried under lands or waters.

Sketch of a cross section of the Newgrange passage grave made by William Frederick Wakeman (d. 1900).

Facade of the tomb as reconstructed by archaeologists, detail > Wikipedia image by Author Aligatorek

Walls are parallel to gravity forms. The horizontal dimension or the length is its distinguishing feature. Walls of stacked materials like clay, mud, stones, snows, vegetation etc., are wider than their height, but structured or arranged walls are several times thinner than their width. Walls thinner than their width are susceptible to horizontal displacing loads including wind, water and earthquakes. Such walls are buttressed intermittently with abutments, flanges or angular layout.

Hadrian’s wall just east of Greenhead Lough, Northumberland

Roman walls of Lugo

Historically Greeks created pristine walls with coursed masonry. Romans created brick and concrete walls with built in lining that were often had variegated stone facings sourced from old debris. Roman walls in interior spaces were plastered with marble powder and polished to a very glossy finish. Walls were decorated and painted by stucco system. Marble and glass mosaic in figures and patterns were applied on walls. Byzantine walls were finished the same way, but unlike the flashy colour scheme of Roman villas and Thermae, were simpler. Byzantine buildings used marble and mosaic bands running across the interior walls.

Mykene Treasure of Atreus Tholos Pic by Wikipedia author Adam Carr

Egyptians painted the interiors with their limited tonal vocabulary, but using gilding extensively. Babylonians used ornamental poly-chrome brickwork, often with low relief work. In early Gothic period the walls were being flooded with light so the structural contouring or definitions were very important, rather than the wall treatments. Wall ornamentation was like the tracery pattern employed in windows. Panellings were used at lower levels of otherwise tall rooms. Gothic period also saw introduction of external non load-bearing or partition walls. In buildings other than church walls did not require such vast openings. Areas between openings in interior and exterior began to form into alcoves or niches to filled in with statuettes.

River gallery of the Château de Chenonceau, designed by Philibert Delorme and Jean Bullant Wikipedia Pic > Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license by Author Wladyslaw (talk)

During Renaissance these intermediate wall areas were highly rusticated. Windows were visually enlarged by decorative appendages. A modulated vocabulary of alternating wall and window treatment was established. These vocabularies, however, did not evolve across the floor except by repetition. Post Renaissance period saw entire facade walls being designed as one unit overcoming the horizontality of floor divisions and straight roof lines. Facade walls now became undulating not in the plan but also in elevation. Japanese shoji partitions serving the purpose of door, window and a wall divider. It inspired many architects in early 20th C to design interiors with relocatable partitions systems. Space and bubble structures dissolved the wall as a definition.

Hexagonal external cladding panels of roof in Eden Project Biomes (Cornwall, England,) Wikipedia Pic by Author Etan J. Cal

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MANAGING FEES -for Building Design practices PART – III

Post 502  by Gautam Shah

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Design fees are based on many factors or considerations. One of the important elements is the complexity of the job, which in turn is reflected in Design floor spread or area of work. This is now called expected area of design intervention. It can include every thing that is intensively and intentionally to be impacted by design. In case of architecture or interior design it includes all design affectations inside and outside the built form. For this purpose your design brief presented to a client becomes the Bench Mark. But one must also equate the design brief with a structure for fees’ computation.

Wikipedia Pic by Author: Dgurteen

For all designers the safest bet is to mention a minimum chargeable fee with a rider that it relates to One site, One Project, One Client and One occasion or interaction. The minium chargeable fee, must be interpreted as the retaining amount (services of a designer). Mention of one occasion or interaction is necessary as some clients after paying the retaining amount go into sleep-mode lasting an indeterminate period. It is necessary to state what design services a client can expect on payment of retaining amounts. This may include one or few meetings for discussions of design brief, including scope of design services, collection and verification of the site related documents, a site visit, or submission of a design scheme.

If minimum chargeable amount (or retaining amount) covers and obligates you to submit a schematic design, than following cares are necessary. Schematic design must never be submitted in digitally manipulable form, such as the CAD-based files. One may however, submit image files like in pdf, jpg, or similar format. Smart designers avoid creating very exactly scaled proposals.

Pic through Flickr by David Goehring

The schematic or preliminary sketch design is likely to go into hyperbole for showing the possibilities of design interventions. The design elements not only spread as built-forms, but include surroundings’ treatments. This is often equated as a promise against the clients’ estimate or the perception of the budget. This means, one need resubmit a redefined version (usually truncated and very rarely an expanded one ) of schematic drawings, as soon as project is shaped (that is fees are set). At this stage it would be wiser to define and graphically indicate the extent and nature of Design interventions. It could also include the Requested Design (Client’s brief) and Design to be executed. A client should clearly understand the term ‘design to be executed’ will form the basis for fees’ determination. Cancellation of the job or any downward sizing will not affect the ‘basis for fees’.

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METAL EMBELLISHMENTS -PAINTED ENAMELS

Post 501  by Gautam Shah

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Surface finishing or decorating with a foreign material is a very ancient technology. Metals have been embellished by several techniques. Metals have been coated by metal plating, surface alloying and deposition. Metals have been inlayed with metals, precious stones and objects.

Jingdezhen covered bowl, China, Qing dynasty, c. 1800-1835, Glazed Porcelain, Enamels

These include:

Damascening a technique of encrusting gold, silver or copper wires in the finely chased surfaces of iron, steel, or bronze.

Niello is made from black metallic alloy of sulfur with silver, copper, or lead. It is filled in chased or engraved patterns over silver. The surface is heated for the niello to melt. On polishing the surface gets a dual metallic effect.

Granulation is made by soldering or fusing granulated beads of silver or gold to effect a bloom to the surface than of a beaded surface.

Filigree is made by forming a fine network of very thin wires fused selectively and than fixed on a metal surface of an object.

Ajouré is similar to filigree but the fine network is created by cutting or piercing the patterns in the metal. Raised patterns or cut out motifs are also fused onto the surface.

Embellishments with Other Materials were formed using precious stones, exotic substances such as rare woods, metals, ivory, horn, beads, sea shells, jade, and amber, and niello-work, fixed into chased or performed cavities or depressions. Fixing was by wire, metal forming, heat-fusing, thread knitting and knotting.

Inlay works are of many varieties. Pre-formed cavities or depressions are filled in by many different materials such as wood, stones and metals. The fixing is with tight fitting, adhesives, or by hammering a ductile metal.

Gilding is application of metal like silver, gold, silver, palladium, aluminum, and copper alloys, in the form of very thin foils. Gilding by gold or silver foils requires as no adhesives as sufficient electrical charges attract the foil to the base, however for permanent fixing (on exterior use) some form of adhesives are used.

Overlays can be defined as metal sheathing or cladding by metal sheets that are slightly heavier than used for gilding. Overlaying is also done by applying a gold amalgam (gold+mercury) and than removing the mercury with heat.

painted enamel on copper 290x 240mm

Enamelling is a metal embellishment technique wherein a vitreous glaze is heat-fused to create a very long lasting decorative effect of brilliant colours. (Read on > Enamels).

Snuff bottle, northern India, 18th century, gold, gemstones and enamel

An Enamel is a compound of flint or sand, red lead, and soda or potash which forms a glass like material on being melted. Low temperature fusing is easier to manage, but creates a soft glass surface that is prone to cracking. Hard enamels are formed at higher temperature are better lasting, but it is a slightly difficult process.

Miniature of Marie Louise d’Orléans, future Queen of Spain by Jean Petitot le vieux (1607-1691)

Painted Enamels are like miniature oil paintings. These are made on a metal base or plate covered with a layer of an opaque enamel. The opaque or white enamel base is further embellished with ‘glass forming but with colouring materials’, rendered by fine needle painting, spraying, screen printing, spattering, scratching or block printing. Separate firing is required for each of the colours. Artists created portraits and other art subjects on very small metal plates, surpassing richness of larger canvass-based oil paintings. Painted Enamels being very small could be carried anywhere as a personal item of collection or treasure. The colours are permanent and non-yellowing or fading. The painted enamel has remained a craft and is not accepted as medium of art. The painted enamels of China are known as Canton (Guangzhou) enamels. Painted enamels are termed by the Chinese yangci (foreign porcelain).

Coloured enamel embellishments were created over arms, armour, mirrors, bowls, cups, chalices, spoons, and miniature pendants, tableware, wall and ceiling panels, signages, table clocks, and snuffboxes.

‘Mercury’, painted enamel and gilt on copper mirror back

Five main types of enamelling processes are used:

Champlevé (French= raised field) enamels are created by scratching or etching a copper surface, which are than filled-in with pulverized enamel material, fired and polished.

Cloisonné (French= partitioned) has very small partitions or cloisons formed with thin metal strips. The partitions are filled with pulverized enamel and fired.

Basse-Taille (French= low cutting) process is a kind of champlevé, but is applied to silver or gold. Here the depressions are filled with translucent enamel, which allows the substrate or patterns on it to be seen.

Plique-à-jour (French=open braids) enamelling resembles cloisonne, but here the partitions form a separable lattice. The lattice is removed after firing, giving an effect of stained glass. It is exceptionally fragile work.

Encrusted Enamel: Encrusted enamel or enamel en ronde bosse is prepared by spreading of an opaque enamel paste over slightly roughened surfaces of objects such as small figures.

Binding representing the Crucifixion of Christ, Limoges (Limosin, France) champlevé enamel on gilded copper