‘‘I STILL FEEL THE SAME EAGERNESS ONCE THE PIECE IS FIRED. IT IS ABSOLUTELY MAGICAL TO SEE IT COME OUT OF THE MUFFLE KILN*, AS WE RESTORE GOLD TO ITS FULL RADIANCE.’’
I have been practicing this craft at Baccarat for several decades – but I still feel the same eagerness once the piece is fired. It is magical to see it come out of the muffle kiln, as the gold is restored to its full radiance. My great pride is to have revived the enamel technique. Before applying the enamel, it is necessary to create a medley of colors, so that they do not mix after firing and for the body to hold; it is all a question of dosage and vigilance, it’s like a little chemistry to implement! Daily, I have the pleasure of meticulously applying gold to carved pieces. As it is a very exclusive metal, which can be shiny, liquid, in flakes, for tanning, or in alloys of different compositions, like palladium, each technique requires its own process. Whether it is a glass, a piece of jewelry or certain Haute Couture creations that require a great deal of intuition and creativity, Baccarat’s pieces all have a character that must be embraced. As a gilder, I fill in patterns with a brush, make fillets and counter-fillets with a tournette, powder with Sèvres gold; I must know the texture of the gold in its slightest contours, to better play with its colors and shades. In addition to the responsibilities I have been entrusted with, I have benefited from numerous internal training sessions within the Baccarat House. It seems natural to me to share what I have acquired through my savoir-faire.
* The muffle kiln is a device for optimizing heat treatments
© Trafalgar Maison de Portraits & Romain Chambodut