Reversible Damascene and Shakudo Necklaces

Speaking of black enamel, here are examples from the Spanish and Japanese jewellery traditions. Coincidentally, both of these panel necklaces can be worn backward. Above and below is the Spanish “Damascene” shell shaped neckpiece. This process, born in Toledo, Spain, Damascene is achieved by scoring a non-precious metal surface. The whole piece is then “blued” with extreme heat to create a black background through oxidization oxidation.

Shakudo necklace front

Pictured above and below is the front and back of a Japanese necklace by Amita. This decorative inlay technique is known as Amita damascene. The process involves etching a steel surface with fine lines which are inlaid with gold or silver threads. The surface of the steel is then corroded with nitric acid and ammonia, boiled in green tea and then all lacquered up. Don;t feel like rocking the black plaques? The back of this particular necklace is also etched with cute birds and temple scenes.