Plique-a-jour Enameling with Lara Ginzburg

Plique-a-Jour Enameling Workshop
Saturday–Sunday, March 23–24, 2019, 10am–6pm
Wear Ever Jewelry Studio School, 1112 King St., Alexandria, Virginia 22314
INSTRUCTOR: Lara Ginzburg
COST: $425 (all materials included)
Piercing/sawing experience required.

Circles Earrings, Lara Ginzburg
Circles Earrings, Lara Ginzburg

As a child in Kiev, Russia, Lara Ginzburg played with Russian “tea glasses” that were often decorated with brightly colored enamel in the cloisonné and plique-a-jour styles. She was drawn to the incredible beauty of these glasses and always kept them in the back of her mind.

After emigrating to the United States in 1989, Lara set up her own jewelry studio and began to work with metal. When she had the chance to take a workshop with award-winning Australian artist Marcus Synnot in the plique-a-jour technique, she was thrilled.

Plique-a-jour, meaning “letting in daylight,” is especially mesmerizing because it is an enameling technique in which unbacked wirework is filled with transparent enamel. As light filters through the colored glass sections, it results in a stained-glass effect. As such, this technique is suited for earrings, where the jewelry hangs in the air.

Anemones, René Lalique
Anemones Brooch, René Lalique

Plique-a-jour was quite popular during the Art Nouveau period at the beginning of the 20th century, made famous by the incredible works of René Lalique. Today, there are not many enamelists who practice this technique and even fewer who teach it, so this workshop is a rare opportunity to spend two entire days immersed in learning this incredible art form. Lara teaches students to saw the framework out of silver sheet metal and fire their pieces in a kiln—no soldering required. Students will learn proper preparation and application of the enamel; special procedures for successful firing; and methods of finishing the work. All will take home a stunning, unique pair of plique-a-jour earrings that they created themselves.