Fire enamelling of metals is a complex and age-old craft technique that combines two seemingly incompatible materials: metal and glass. It had its greatest popularity in Italy between the 1950s and 1970s in objects by the Paduan artist De Poli together with Giò Ponti and through other small craftsmen.
Enamel is glass powder, coloured with metal oxides, which is applied to the metal object with a brush, spatula or spray gun on copper, steel and silver. The technique consists of a succession of fairly rapid firings - 1 to 7 minutes - at high temperature, between 780°C and 850°C.
To make an enamelled object, the first step is to cut the sheet of the chosen metal into the desired shape. This is then beaten, annealed, shaped, hammered, producing the desired object, which is then enamelled and subjected to numerous and controlled firings with respect to the desired effects, inserting and removing the glowing pieces from the kiln.