Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Photo Essay: Cloisonne Factory

Take a tour bus to The Great Wall and chances are good you'll also get a thorough tour of a Cloisonne or Jade Factory into the bargain. The tour guide gets a kickback from the factory owners and you get a chance to buy trinkets. Although the shopping felt a bit coercive, I did enjoy a peek at the techniques.

Bowls, vases and bracelets are crafted from brass.

Tiny strips of brass are shaped and glued onto the vessel by hand according to a pattern. Dragons, lotus flowers, peonies and butterflies are all popular motifs.

A finished piece beside one in progress.

Artists use tiny eye droppers to fill each segment with glaze. Each piece is fired multiple times until the enamel fills the brass chambers.

The array of colors was stunning.

I loved how the enamels were smothered in water. It made me think of a rainbow accidentally collected on a picnic table after a sudden storm.

In one of my college painting classes, my professor used to tease me that whatever color I wore to class was the color I would use first that day. I wonder if this lady had the same predilection.

After firing, the piece must be sanded down so that the finished product has a smooth and even finish. Needless to say, the pieces I liked were far to expensive to bring home in my suitcase.

1 comment:

storybeader said...

I thought they were made in France - lol. Neat!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...