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Cloisonne is one of China¡¯s famous traditional handicrafts. It combines the art of porcelain and copper. Showing off an elegant cloisonn¨¦ vase on your shelf will make your room more appealing and tasteful. Several days ago, I happened to visit a cloisonn¨¦ shop in southeast Beijing.


I was immediately attracted to a wide variety of colorful cloisonn¨¦ vases displayed on the shelves. Before long, the shop owner Mr. Nie came up to me and gave a brief introduction to his products.


Cloisonn¨¦ became very popular during the reign of Emperor Jingtai (1450 - 1456). At that time, artisans focused on blue, which is pronounced ¡®Lan¡¯ in Chinese. So the Chinese call it Jingtai Lan, after the emperor and the color.


In ancient China, cloisonn¨¦ was only used by the royal family. It could not be made in private workshops or sold in common marketplaces until the late Qing dynasty (1636 - 1912).


Mr. Nie said all of the items in his shop were made in his own factory.


When I asked him which one was the best seller, he passed me a blue and white cloisonn¨¦ vase. It felt very smooth. The pattern included blue flowers, clouds, and a big dragon.


Besides the large vases, this shop also has smaller items like jewelry.


What I appreciated

Superior workmanship, beautiful colors, cloisonn¨¦ vases


What customers appreciate

Traditional Chinese handicrafts, fine craftsmanship

Beijing pictures,

Cloisonn¨¦ is a kind of decorative pottery with an enamel glaze, where metal filaments are fused to the surface of an object, and outline a design filled with enamel paste. Introduced from the Middle East in the late 13th century, this art has since prospered in China from the Ming Dynasty on.


Last week on my visit to Baigong Handicraft Museum, I found this cloisonn¨¦ shop on the second floor. The shelves against walls displayed a variety of colorful cloisonn¨¦ vases. Among them, I found one called "Maple Leaves" (RMB 1600) most appealing. This vase featured red maple leaves and golden clouds vividly distributed over the white background.


In the midst of the room, I saw two middle-aged women making cloisonn¨¦ articles. They talked to me about the process while working. I was amazed. A piece of cloisonn¨¦ article requires 37 procedures to complete! This includes body shaping, filigree making, enameling, heating, and gilding.


Ranked as one of the eight consummate arts of Beijing, cloisonn¨¦ is a definitive artwork of the capital city.


What I appreciated

Unique cloisonn¨¦ articles of Beijing, cloisonn¨¦ craftsmen working on-location


What customers appreciate

Traditional handicraft of Beijing, prominent workmanship

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Beijing Shopping: Cloisonne is one of China's famous traditional handicrafts. It combines the art of porcelain and copper. Showing off an elegant cloisonne vase on your shelf will make your room more appealing and tast...