Enamel is usually associated with cookware and old, out of fashion jewellery but after taking a trip to the French countryside this weekend we discovered a whole new world of contemporary enamel. Who knew?
We stopped at Limoges which is known for its incredible porcelain but found a long history of enamel from the region at the newly renovated Musée des Beaux-Arts. This sparked our interest in the somewhat forgotten material so here are our five chic finds celebrating enamel and its future.
This is the adorable enamel piece that really piqued our interest at the museum. We thought it was a bit of fun with a charming mix of pastel colours and a 90s form that reminded us of Frasier Crane's wood furniture and joinery in his Seattle apartment.
This piece was designed by Elizabeth Garoustre and Mattia Bonetti, and now that we're looking back at the photo, it looks as though the enamel tray is inset into the table, allowing for it to be lifted out and carried around. The quality was exceptional and despite being a little kitsch, we think this table could still find its place in a contemporary interior.
Speaking of enamel tables, British designer Tom Dixon has been covering tabletops in enamel for a while now and when paired with a simple, modern form like these ones, the material really has a chance to shine.
We've fans of the spot table (middle image) but perhaps the gorgeous enamel vessels will find their way onto the tables we've already got at Studio Ombre HQ.
Le Creuset is synonymous with enamel but not everyone is drawn to their classic colours which can be a little harsh in lighter kitchens with blonde wood and white finishes.
This year, the French manufacturer released a new range of pastel colours under the Bloom Collection moniker which feel both vintage and very contemporary. It's the perfect time to invest in a large pot that lasts forever and inevitably ends up living on your stovetop from daily use.
Painted enamel is a rather different than most enamel techniques and can be applied without the need for segments bordered in metals. Kueng Caputo uses this technique to create astonishing Never Too Much enamelled plates featuring vibrant colours and motifs that seem to be inspired by nature or galaxies.
As companion pieces, the designer uses similar painting techniques on leather to create abstract furniture that beautifully reflects the detailed designs on the plates. We're a little in love with these pieces.
Christoph Straub's enamel necklaces and jewellery hopefully represent a whole new movement for this somewhat forgotten material. His super-modern designs use both hard geometry and an unusual forced perspective and trompe-l'oeil effect to create jewellery that feels like it could become a future classic.
They're simple yet impressively detailed and the use of enamel brings a depth of colour and texture that just isn't able to be replicated with other materials. This looks like the real future of enamel and if Straub's designs are an indicator of the enamel of tomorrow, we're excited.