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A pigment of a vitreous nature composed usually of powdered potash and silica, bound with oil, coloured with metallic oxides, and applied to porcelain, gold, silver, copper, glass, etc., as a surface decoration by low-temperature firing. Enamels are usually mixed with a flux to facilitate melting at a low temperature. They often sink deeply into the glaze of artificial porcelain, but are not absorbed into the feldspathic glazes of true porcelain or into the surface of gold, silver, copper or glass, and so remain on the surface of these, easily palpable to the finger-tips. The French term is émail, the Italian smalto, and the German schmeltz.