Cloisonne is one of the famous arts and crafts of Beijing.The making of cloisonne requires rather elaborate and complicated processes; base-hammering, copper-strip inlay, soldering, enamel-filling, enamel-firing, polishing and gilding. The products are featured by excellent quality. The skill and workmanship have been handed down from the Ming Dynasty. Quite a number of new varieties have been created. it enjoys a high reputation both at home and abroad. They are mostly for export.
The first step is body making. The material used for making the bodyis copper, because copper is easily hammered and stretched. This step requires a sound judgement in shaping and uniformity of thickness and weight. It is in fact the work of the copper smith. The only difference is that when an article is well shaped, the copper smith‘s work is finished, whereas the cloisonne craftsman’s work is just on the the start.
The second step is filigree soldering. This step requires great care and high creativeness. The artisan adheres copper strips onto the body. These strips are of 1/16 inch in diameter and of lengths as the artisan desires. The strips or filigree thus adhered make up a complicated but complete pattern. The artisan has a blueprint in mind and he can make full use of his experience, imagination and aesthetic view in setting the copper strips on the body.
The third step is to apply the colour which is known as enamel filling. The colour or enamel is like th