Last updated by Beijingexpat at 2013-11-6
Beijing is commonly as hometown of cloisonné whose cloisonné-production history dated back to the Yuan Dynasty. The cloisonné was originately made as a sort of replicate for the bronze ware. During the Ming Dynasty, artisans discovered a kind of deep blue enamel, which could serve a perfect material for the cloisonné. This kind of enamelware is known as "Jingtai Blue" or Jing Tai Lan in Chinese. It was so named because the color blue is the most frequently used for enameling. Jintai actually was the name of the 7th emperor of the Ming Dynasty. Cloisonné underwent a great craftsmanship leap during his reign (1450 – 1456 A D). During the reign of Emperor Qianlong, Qing Dynasty, the more ductile and flexible bronze started to be used for the cloisonné body.
The craftsmanship of cloisonné is a unique combination of Chinese traditional arts and techniques: painting, sculpture and suchlike. The whole production process is quite complex. Copper is used as the main material for shaping the body. The craftsman solder the patterned copper wire onto the body with special glue so as to make up a complicated but beautiful complete pattern on the body. Then the copper body with enamel fillings will be put into the oven where the temperature may go as high as 900 degree Celsius. The unfinished products require polishing to make the copper wire and the fillings in the little compartment even and smooth. At last, the products will again undergo electroplating and then a slight polishing will be the final touch to the product. Cloisonné is so beautiful for its molding, brilliant and dazzling colors and the splendid and graceful design. It is made into a wide variety of products: vases, jars, bowel, plates, chopsticks, earring, and bracelets among many others.
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