Cloisonné, or Jingtai Blue (景泰蓝) in Chinese, is a traditional enamelware with a history of more than 500 years. Prevalent in Jingtai period of Ming Dynasty (1450- 1456), and with its typical color of blue, the cloisonné was so called as Jingtai Blue by people. With its distinctive shape, exquisite workmanship, solemn design and splendid color, Cloisonné is strong in national culture that enjoys a high reputation home and abroad.
The making of a cloisonné is complicated with more than ten procedures. Generally, it is to cast bronze into different shapes first--- vases, bowls, dishes and the like, and then affix in decorative patterns with gold thread or bronze wires, and to fill the cloisons or hollows with enamels of different colors, and then to be fired. Each piece of cloisonné is fired for three times in general with a fresh cover of enamel each time. After firing, pieces will be ground, polished and gilded. To sum up, the making of a cloisonné epitomizes the techniques of bronze, porcelain, traditional painting and graving.
In modern times, cloisonné craftsmanship has got a great development that the color of enamels has been extended from blue to pea green, purple, rose, yellow, coffee, azure, and gold; the designs also have been improved by borrowing the patterns from old silks. In the history, the cloisonné is abounding in Yunan, Jiangxi, Guangdong, Beijing and Jiangsu; while today, Beijing, Shanghai, Guangdong and Shaanxi are the largest manufacturing areas of cloisonné, where the visitors can find fine polychrome cloisonné.
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