This question pops up frequently in various places, and I always find myself answering the same, so I decided to write a post that I can share the link to 🙂
Now, disclaimer: of course this is just my opinion, and of course I have not read all books out there, and… if you are still reading, well, here it is. I recently reorganised a little corner next to my enamelling desk, and could only fit 5 books. These are the ones I chose, which I guess is as good an indication as any:
- Enamelling: The complicity of fire and art by Andreu Vilasís.
I originally recommended the original, Spanish language version of this book. It being my favourite book and written by my mentor, I obtained permission and guidance from him in translating and publishing this book. So my first recommendation is of a book that I myself sell… May seem a bit cheeky, but the truth is that I published this book because I love it, 100% stand behind it, and I think it is the best!
This book is used as an unofficial textbook in Spain, where you can get an official degree in enamelling on metals in various art schools. It is a complete reference technical manual, an absolute must have.
It is still my number one recommendation hands down.
To order the Spanish version you can contact the Catalan enamelists’ association CIDAE at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Enameling on Metal: The Art and Craft of Enameling on Metal Explained Clearly and Precisely* by Núria López-Ribalta & Eva Pascual i Miró. This is my favourite to recommend to beginners since it is indeed very clearly explained and illustrated, and covers all your bases 😀 This book is available in several languages. This is a link to the English version, see below for more!
- Engraving and Enamelling: The Art of Champlevé* by Phil Barnes. Absolutely fantastic book by an extraordinary artist that left us too soon. You’ll find outstanding information over engraving, champlevé and enamelling on sterling silver in this book.
- The Art of Enameling: Techniques, Projects, Inspiration* by Linda Darty. The absolute classic from the other side of the pond. This is a wonderful book which covers an enormous amount of information and, indeed, lots and lots of inspiration.
- The art of enameling: How to shape precious metal and decorate it with cloisonné, champlevé, plique-à-jour, mercury gilding and other fine techniques* by Margaret Seeler. This unfortunately out of print book is quite sui generis and also quite delightful! Do get it if you can find a reasonably priced copy.
So as mentioned, Núria’s book is available in several languages. Here’s a gathering of non-affiliate links. My apologies if any of these stops working:
English: Emaux Soyer, Bookdepository, Amazon UK, Amazon DE
Spanish: Emaux Soyer, Amazon ES
French: Emaux Soyer, Amazon FR
Italian: Amazon.com, Mondadori, Hobbyland, IBS
If you know anything about my history, you know that Andreu and Núria are my mentors. It is thus no surprise, I suppose, that both their books top my list. You could say that my familiarity with the content makes me have a special affinity for it, and you could then take my recommendation with a grain of salt, I suppose… but there’s a reason why they’re both considered masters in the field of enamelling 😀 and everyone I have recommended these books to has been super happy with them and learnt tons, so there’s that!
* Affiliate links are marked with a “*”. Purchasing through this link supports enamelworkshop.com and costs you nothing extra! 🙂