Cloisonne is an ancient technique for decorating metalwork objects, in recent centuries using vitreous enamel, and in older periods also inlays of cut gemstones, glass, and other materials. The decoration is formed by first adding compartments to the metal object by soldering or adhering silver or gold wires or thin strips placed on their edges.
Cloisonne is a kind of famous traditional handicrafts in China, with 600 years of history. As a shining pearl in the art and craft world, Cloisonne is one of the four famous craft (the other three are carved lacquerware, jade and ivory) in Beijing. It enjoys worldwide fame, with its long history, elegant sculping, thunder and lightning color and varied patterns. Cloisonne articles offer exquisite decorations for houses, popular gifts as presents for relatives and friends nationally and internationally , and awards and souvenirs as praise and honor. The earliest Cloisonne artwork can be traced back to the capital of Yuan Dynasty, and got further development in the Ming Dynasty. It was only made in blue at first, so it was named “Jingtai blue”. In ancient time, the Cloisonne wares only used in Imperial family, it symbolized social status and authority. After the people’s republic of China was established, the work skill have made a good progress. Today Cloisonne wares has 2 main kinds “gold products and blue Cloisonne”. Filaments Cloisonne are include gold, silver and blue filigrees. All the process of making Cloisonne are by hand, are following steps: design, padding making, thread weaving, drawing, burning, polishing and gilding etc. A kind of special craft that combines the copper with ceramics, bronzes, paintings and carving works, it is unique one among the Chinese handicrafts, it is rich in color, design and frame. Have high value of collecting.
Chinese Cloisonné ( 景泰藍)
Chinese cloisonné is a kind of artwork made of red copper roughcast and decorated colorful glaze. The term "cloisonné" refers to both the technique and the finished product. It comes from the French word "cloison" meaning “partition”. The making of a cloisonné is complicated. After the red copper roughcast is made, metal wires are bent to create small partitions of designs. Then glass enamel, colored with metallic oxide, is filled into the designed patterns. The cast is fired at about 800°C to melt the materials into a smooth surface. Several times of enamel heating are required until the metal wires are made even with the enamel surface. Polishing is then needed till the cast and the wires are clean and smooth.
The "cloisonné" technique, originated in the Middle East, arrived in China in the 13-14th centuries. During the 'Jingtai' period of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), cloisonné enamel reached a high sophisticated level. Since the primary colors were turquoise blue, the cloisonné was thus called as Jingtai Blue ( 景泰藍).
Chinese cloisonné art objects include vases, boxes, animal figurines etc. Some figurines, such as elephants or phoenix, can be used as Feng Shui cures. Thus Chinese cloisonné are both good Feng Shui cures and home decorative items.
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The best Cloisonne was made in the Ming Dynasty, with good quality copper. Most of them were made with red copper looking a little thick and heavy and colored glaze used natural minerals, looking bright and lifelike. Cloisonne of that time used primitive filigree, had thick gilt, and had air bubbles in the colored glaze. Cloisonne of the Qing Dynasty used delicate colors, graceful filigree, and fine glazes with no air bubble. Besides, the scope was enlarged beyond the sacrificial/household wares into vases, folding screens, incense burners, tables, chairs, chopsticks, and bowls. Meanwhile, varied patterns were used, but they are not as vivid as those of the Ming Dynasty. At present, the techniques of making Cloisonne have been improved immensely and all kinds of Cloisonne crafts are made.
The Cloisonne craft picture
With tasteful attraction, handmade Cloisonne Craft Painting can be appreciated by people from different classes. There are almost a thousand popular variants over. Making Cloisonne is regarded as a major integration of Chinese traditional technical progress, the Cloisonne Pictures is a kind of innovative fruit based on the profound technical process of the traditional royal Cloisonne in Ming Dynasty in China. Combining the progress of bronze and porcelain with the traditional technique of hand painting and carving. Handmade Cloisonne Craft Painting can to wash lightly with water, the color which can never fade. The Cloisonne Pictures is the unique significantly fresco, and high grade household decoration with various elegant design.
Other Cloisonne products
Dragon is one of the most favored subjects for Chinese Cloisonne wares. In today’s market, you can find all sorts of Cloisonne dragon vase, Cloisonne dragon plate and bowl, even Cloisonne dragon pins. The reason behind this is that dragon is the beloved symbol of China, the symbol of power, energy and high spirit. Chinese Cloisonne products are designed and made by highly skilled Cloisonne artisans with at least 15 years of experience in the trade. The 12 inch Cloisonne vase with two shrikes, from it you can see how the wires are laid fluently and how the enamels gradually change from one color to the other. The surface of the Cloisonne vase was so tenderly polished that you can’t tell any trace of sanding, this kind of Chinese Cloisonne craftsmanship is highly valued in China and very hard to find. If you are lucky enough, you can find something good in the local market. You can also find other Cloisonne vase decorated with colorful peonies, plums, and towering, mighty blue dragon. You can also shop for finely crafted Cloisonne chopsticks, an elegant addition to any Chinese style dinner table. Or if you prefer lovely decorative art, look at high gloss Cloisonne plates adorned with luscious greenery and delicate, strong pale pink peonies. You can also find some Cloisonne adornment for women, bold red or sky blue Cloisonne powder boxes and Cloisonne bracelets embellished with cherry blossoms, the perfect compliment to the graceful tenderness of a lady's wrist.