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The firing of enamel takes only a few minutes, and the object is then withdrawn and allowed to cool.
The various techniques practiced by craftsmen in the past differ mainly in the methods employed in preparing the metal to receive the powdered enamel.
For use, each cake must be pulverized into a fine powder with a pestle and mortar; the powder then has to be subjected to a series of washings in distilled water until all the floury particles are removed.
The metal, on which the powdered enamel is to be spread, is cleansed by immersion in acid and water.
The colour of many enamels is achieved by a change in the proportion of the components of the flux rather than by a change in quantity of the oxide.Following upon the invention of the domestic table clock and of the watch in the 16th century, enamelling became one of the most popular forms of decoration for the dials and cases; by the 18th century, items of the drawing room, such as snuffboxes, etuis (cases for small articles like scissors and needles), tea caddies, candlesticks, scent bottles, and thimbles, were frequently made of enamel.Among the objects decorated with enamels in East Asia are vases, incense vessels, teapots, suits of armour, and sliding doors.After it has cooled, the surface can be polished to remove imperfections and to add to the brilliance.The cloisonné technique is particularly suited to objects made of gold, such as jewelry.