Cloisonné Factory

Cloisonné is an ancient technique for decorating metalwork objects, in recent centuries using vitreous enamel.

The decoration is formed by first adding compartments (cloisons in French) to the metal object by soldering or adhering silver or gold wires or thin strips placed on their edges.

The decoration is formed by first adding compartments (cloisons in French) to the metal object by soldering or adhering silver or gold wires or thin strips placed on their edges.

Cloisonné enamel objects are worked on with enamel powder made into a paste, which then needs to be fired in a kiln.

Cloisonné enamel objects are worked on with enamel powder made into a paste, which then needs to be fired in a kiln.

The wires remain visible in the finished piece, separating the different compartments of the enamel, which are often of several colours.

The wires remain visible in the finished piece, separating the different compartments of the enamel, which are often of several colours.

Not too garish, this one.

Not too garish, this one.

In addition to vases, there were more portable items for sale, such as Christmas ornaments and bracelets.

My least favourite parts of our tour were the obligatory visits to various Chinese ‘craft’ centres where we were encouraged to buy, on various days: cloisonné, pearls (twice), jade (twice), silk carpets, terracotta warrior statues*, duvets made from unspun silkworm cocoons, silk clothing and embroidered silk.  I hate shopping.  I did buy a few things as gifts but, because Christmas is coming and the recipients may be reading this, I won’t say what. If you want some of the cloissone, the ornaments and bracelets are available on a popular online shopping site starting with ‘A.’

*PS I hope John’s wee man made it back to Ontario in one piece.

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3 comments on “Cloisonné Factory

  1. Sandy Jess says:

    Hi Bundy… yes, Johns’ wee man made it, but he was somewhat wounded…. his right hand fell off, but I have managed to glue it on and he sits in a place of honour on our mantal, next to a photo of John in the metal suit of armour that I took at one of the venue locations. Continuing to enjoy your photos and comments… I agree with being herded into shops to allure us to shop. Since the terra cotta warriors were the main reason for our decision to go on the trip, I wanted a reminder, not realizing what a pain he would be to carry… oh well… memories!!

  2. Good post. Looks like there a lot of attention to detail on their work.

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