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Chinese Cloisonne

Cloisonne Enamel is a high-grade artwork. The earliest extant cloisonne was made in the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368). The best was made during the Xuande period (1426-1456) of the Ming Dynasty. During the Jingtai period (1426-1456) of the Ming Dynasty, it became more popular, handicraftsmen found dark-blue enamel that gave cloisonne a gorgeous, solemn look, the technique turned to be quite mature. As the blue color was mostly used, so it is called Jingtai blue, and is still used today. From then on, it seemed no any great breakthrough instead of the rapid development of using the coppery material, which used a pure coppery with better extension. Thus, the cloisonne technique arrived the crest.

The making of cloisonne integrates bronze and porcelain-working skills, traditional painting and etching. It is the pinnacle of traditional Chinese handicraft. Cloisonne has another name "inlaid enamel", which refers to the unique technique of the combination of porcelain and bronze.

When making the cloisonne, firstly, use the red coppery to make the body, secondly, stick the pattern on the bronze body by oblate and thin brass wires, then fill the inlay pattern by enamel glaze material in different colors, the last procedure is the firing over and over, polishing and gilding. We may say, the technique of cloisonne is used not only the bronze crafts, but also the porcelain crafts, meanwhile, fetching in plenty of traditional and carving technique, which is the combination of Chinese traditional arts.

In Beijing as well as other cities, most shops in hotels as well as tourist stores sell cloisonne articles, which can be as big as sacrificial utensils, screens tables and chairs, and as small as chopsticks, earrings, candy boxes, toothpicks and smoking tools. They are works of art as well as articles with use value. Craftsmen have late developed a multi-coloring technique for the making of cloisonne, which has resulted in more refined, and gorgeous products.

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