The Art of Enameling

Nicole Barr jewelry is a rare example of the Art of Enameling. What is enamel? True vitreous enamel as used in each jewelry piece is the beautiful fusion of fired glass with sterling silver, resulting in a lustrous color that will never change. This technique was made famous in the 1900's by jewellers like Lalique, Faberge and Tiffany.

Our exclusive designs carry the tradition of enameling into the 21st century with the addition of brilliant cut diamonds, sapphires, rubies, amethyst, pearls, topaz and other semi-precious gemstones.

Each Nicole Barr piece has been hand crafted at every step — from the casting of sterling silver, to the hand applied and fired enamels, to the setting of fine gemstones. Nicole Barr has been creating sterling silver and enamel jewelry of the highest quality for more than 25 years.

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Techniques in Enameling

Enameling is our passion, and we'd like to introduce you to just a few of the difficult techniques used to produce the exclusive Nicole Barr fine jewelery designs.

Basse Taille enamel Kingfisher earrings.

Basse Taille

French for "low cut", in this technique a pattern is created in the sterling silver before enamelling, so that when the enamel is laid over it the pattern shines through the transparent glass. Basse Taille adds texture and life to the design as can be seen in these Kingfisher earrings.

Plique a Jour 18ct gold Dragonfly Jewelry with Diamonds.

Plique à jour is the same technique used by the French enamelists Lalique and Feuillâtre in the 1900's. The French term means "glimpse of day" and describes how the light shines through the rich, lustrous enamel colour. Each beautiful, delicate piece is translucent -- suspended between silver wires without a backing, creating the effect of a stained glass window. See Wikipedia for more information.

Diamonds used in many of our special Nicole Barr designs are "G" color (rare white) and brilliant cut. Semi-precious gemstones like blue moonstone, pink tourmaline, rhodolite and iolite complement the enamel color.

Each Plique à jour brooch comes with a necklace converter which can be slipped over the brooch pin to create a bail for a necklace chain.

Maple Leaf Champleve brooch with Diamonds


A French word for "raised field", in champleve the artist removes the silver by cutting, hammering or stamping in order to create a depression which will then receive the melted glass. As the enamel is laid in the recessed areas of the silver, it is built up in layers until it reaches the same height as the remaining silver.