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Everlasting Porcelain Enamel Signs

By Metaltrays Subscribe to RSS | January 11th 2012 | Views:
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Although we consider all types of advertising signs to be unique in their own right, porcelain enamel signs do hold a special place in our hearts. There is something truly special about promotional signs that are made of porcelain enamel, and although the high-quality materials and level of craftsmanship have a lot to do with it, we think the history of enamel work also plays a role in its prestigious placement in the world of POS signs.

These high-lustre, scratch-resistant and brilliantly coloured enamel signs are not only beautiful enough to be displayed as art, they actually become more valuable with age! There are auctions held just for the resale of vintage POS signs made of enamel. Not only can these used signs be resold, but for a considerable price! As manufacturers of enamel signs, we can see why: they are remarkable.

There is a long tradition of enamel sign craftsmanship in Europe that Smalt Brno is proud to be part of. With popular masters of the technique including the artists of Limoges in France to Carl Faberge, and many artists during the Art Nouveau movement, we feel we are standing on the shoulders of giants.

Porcelain enamel is similar to cloisonné, although this latter technique is better known for smaller, more delicate work such as that on jewellery and pottery. The idea is that powdered glass and metallic figments can be applied to various materials, and then heated at extremely high temperatures. The glass and metallic material melts and melds together so the art piece becomes brilliant, pigment-rich and very durable, all the while delicate-looking and beautiful. Although a little larger in scale, this is more or less the same technique we continue to use in the fabrication of porcelain enamel signs!

This technique dates all the way back to ancient Egypt and became widely popular in the Middle Ages for it’s stunning depiction of religious motifs which continued into Gothic art (think of stained glass). Soon, other cultures picked up the technique of enamel and it took off! Not only has the timeless technique been preserved, but the enamel itself has as well. You can only imagine how long a modern-day enamel sign will be around for, with signs that are 20-30 years old still looking brand-new!

This classic artistic technique has been perfected throughout time and refined with modern technology. With the modern manufacturing capabilities of today, Smalt Brno is capable of producing enamel signs of various shapes and sizes, with a large range of brilliant colours (both opaque and clear), as well as combining fine metals such as gold and platinum (which we think is a lot of fun to work with).

Some of the great advantages to present day production is that our enamel signs are highly scratch-resistant, cannot be damaged by UV rays, or any kind of bad weather, sea-salt and even fire (the temperatures we use to manufacture the signs far exceed the temperatures of average fires)! Who knows, with the advancements of sign production, Smalt Brno's enamel signs just may be the prized artefacts of the year 2300!

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