Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Cloisonne in Beijing

The art of cloisonne coloring in BeijingExamples of cloisonne abound for the visitor to Beijing.

Cloissone is an art invented in Beijing dating back over 800 years to the Yuan Dynasty (1271 - 1368).

It was developed during the succeeding Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644), spurred on by the Emperor himself.

Once production methods were perfected and made more efficient, it wasn't long before the passion for cloisonne filtered down to the populace in general, and cloisonne became almost the standard style of decorative ceramics, characterized by the enormously popular 'Jingtai blue'.

The art of cloisonne wiring in Beijing.It was during the next dynasty, the Qing, that cloisonne reached its artistic pinnacle.

Basically, shaped wires are glued to porcelain and various glazes applied between the boundaries of the wires before the piece is fired. The finished product may be polished to a high sheen, or it may retain its out-of-the-kiln rough-surfaced glaze.


Rather than simply picking your cloisonne of an anonymous shelf, it is worth seeking out a studio where you can see it being made and do your shopping there.

Cloisonne pots in Beijing.See the various stages of the process, of which two: the wiring and coloring, pictured above.

Many bus tours include a stop in at a cloisonne studio whether you like it or not. But, don't worry - you'll love it!

© Beijing-visitor.com

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