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.