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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


At the northeast of Tian¡¯anmen Square lies a Chinese folk handicrafts shop. A wooden tablet hangs over the gate that reads ¡®Folk Graft Gift¡¯ in English. Don¡¯t miss this: they carry unique handmade Chinese gifts and adornments.


On my recent visit to this shop, I found something that impressed me: bamboo decorations!


According to the shopkeeper Mr. Zhou, customers could have anything inscribed on them, including their names and the English versions of famous Chinese books.


If you have no time to visit the Terra-Cotta Warriors in Xi¡¯an, the shop has small replicas of the warriors.


I also saw replicas of ancient bronze statues and other objects, such as daggers, goblets, cooking vessels, and Pixiu (a legendary animal).


If you like Kung Fu movies, pick up one of their swords. They are made in the famous Shaolin Temple. They are rather heavy, so handle with care.


What I appreciated:

Folk handicrafts, decorations


What customers appreciate:

Folk handicrafts, decorations


On my visit to the fifth floor of Bairong World Trade Center, a shop full of decorations reflecting rural people and the old Beijing image caught my eye. I didn't hesitate to step in.


A shop assistant greeted me and told me that this was the wholesale department of Xiangrong Art Studio. This venue features two rooms - one for pottery decorations, the other for paintings. All the works here are made by folk artists.


I liked their decorations, for they reminded me of the old Beijing. Some of their displays are miniature gates of the old Beijing courtyards. I spent my childhood in a traditional courtyard not far from Tian¡¯anmen Square, so these miniature gates really brought back old memories. The grey bricks, the wooden gates, the gate piers, even the patches of moss, are all reminiscent of my old life long gone now. Miniature courtyard gates were priced at RMB 150 or 180.


A miniature village courtyard looked lovely too. The enclosure was built of stones, and on the front wall of the cottage hung strings of golden maize and red peppers. The villagers, made of pottery, looked quite happy in their simple clothes.


Each of their items is original and unique, so I bet you will not regret taking a visit to this outlet.


What I appreciated

Folk art, original design


What customers appreciate

The old Beijing style, and rural style

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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...