champ·le·ve | ˌshäⁿ-lə-ˈvā
An enameling technique in which areas of metal are cut, etched, or routed, before being filled with enamel or molten glass
Champleve is an ancient enameling technique that has been used since around the 3rd century BC in the decorative arts, including in the field of jewelry. Jewelers use the process of champleve to create troughs, or cells, in a metal piece of jewelry, such as a ring, brooch, or pendant. From there, these troughs or cells are carved, die struck, etched, or cast on the surface of the jewelry’s metal. Next, the jeweler fills the troughs or cells with vitreous enamel, or porcelain enamel which is created by fusing powdered glass to substrate through a firing process. To fuse the porcelain enamel together with the metal portion of the jewelry, the jewelry piece is fired. Once the piece of jewelry has cooled down, the jewelry piece and its enamel is polished to refine its appearance. While champleve has been used in jewelry for centuries, today, more modern enameling techniques are commonly used instead.