Hand-painting of glass has so great tradition in the Czech Republic as nowhere in the whole world. Many techniques of arts of painting on glass, used in the past, remained attractive even nowadays. There is a large number of different techniques and of their combinations.
The techniques called high enamel and a relief art of painting belong to traditionally thought-after products decorated by gold and enamels. The beginnings of art of relief painting can be dated back to 1740-50, when one of the most prominent figures of those years, a technologist, glass painter, inventor and a pioneer of many new technical procedures, Friedrich Egermann, begun by doing this demanding painting technique. However, today's appearance of high enamel is quite different, worked-out in details, artistically aesthetic, and used on variety of shapes and color executions.
High enamel technique is very demanding one. First, a layer of liquid bright gold undercoat is spread on certain parts of a glass item (whether a vase, bowl, goblet, ashtray etc.,) thus creating a broad, decorated surface areas. After baking in an oven, this golden ground is treated by a special glass paint to achieve the silk-like gloss of dull gold.
After the second baking, the enamel painting itself takes place onto this gold ground. The relief painting and the high enamel techniques use special paints consisted of metal oxides mixed with a glass powder (a frit) that has a considerable content of lead. By baking at 550-560 degC in an electrically heated oven, the paints and the glass surface join together. Enamel is put on in the form of small drops of paint followed by shaping with a small brush into flower-petals and blossoms. White color is then used to make leaves, stems and buds that are modified by various color shades to put the finishing touches to the decor. The relief paint is put on, again with a very small brush, in the form of arabesques and palmettes at margins of broad golden areas.
After the third baking, painters coat the relief painting with gold and make gold fibres in leaves and central spots in blossoms. Then, the final fourth baking takes place.
Each quality finished product is an original piece since it has been created by human hand and art of the Czech glass masters and painters. It is a gem and a representative of traditional Czech glass embellished by hand painting.