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The making of a NYCO Enamelled Heirloom

 

NYCO's collection of intricate, handcrafted, enameled ornaments are noted for our innovative design concepts, unique colorations, and overall quality.  As a memento, or a complement to celebrations, each creation captures the beauty of a treasured art form. 


   Nicki Yassaman, head of NYCO, first draws a sketch of a new ornament design.  Images may reflect elements of nature, nostalgic holiday themes, antique fabrics or sophisticated geometrics.  The completed artwork is then taken to one of the three NYCO Factories.


   Each ornament design is produced in a silver prototype for more precise rendering of pattern and coloration.  Once the prototype is approved, production of the iron mould can begin.  The ornament shapes are made by pouring copper, which has been heated to a liquid into the molds.


   To create the design on the piece, copper wires are individually twisted by hand.  These wires come in various thicknesses with a single filament reaching as much as 50 yards in length.  The twisted wire is formed into a pattern, cut, and carefully applied by hand to the ornament using tweezers and glue.


   To set the pattern, the wired design is dusted with epoxy and fired in a kiln of a temperature between 500 and 800 degrees.  The technique results in a piece that is structurally strong and copper in color.


   Each NYCO ornament is a delicate palette of distinctive colors.  Often layers of color must be applied to achieve the desired effect.  To withstand the high temperatures of the kiln, only colors that will fire true to the original design are selected. 


   The copper ornament produced from the mold is first painted with a white base coat or silver-plated.  Small brushes are then dipped in liquid enamel paint and hand applied to the wired design.    


   To produce the many colors on a design, one color may be applied over a different color so that the ornament is finished with the appropriate shades and tones.  To attain the precise coloration, technologists must experiment until a specific effect is achieved.


    The ornament is fired a second time in a small, coal-fueled kiln that holds up to twelve pieces.  Due to high temperatures reached during the firing process, the liquid enamel essentially turns to glass.  Depending upon the collection, the ornament is now silver-plated or plated with 24k gold.  Pieces are then dried to a lustrous, durable finish.

 

The History of NYCO Video Presentation

 

To view our video presentation of "The History of NYCO" , you will need a computer with audio capability and the QuickTime plug-in. 

 

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NYCO International Inc.,

979 Route 17 South, Southfields, NY, 10975

Tel: 800-500-0242    Fax: 845-351-5604

Email: order@nycointl.com

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