Thursday, December 3, 2009

Cloisonne and Enameled Metals

The history of Cloisonne dates back to 1800 BC, in Egypt. During the 13th century BC, the ancient greeks made this art as well. Chinese fired-enamelware dates back as far as the Yuan Dynasty from 1271 and was popularized during China's XuanDe period 1426 to 1435.



Foo Dog, China's Quinlong period (1736-1795) AND Cat box, Japan's Meiji period (1890 to1910)

Cloisonné is the technique of creating designs on bronze, copper, and brass. Small, raised metal dividers are soldered onto the main object making many sections. These are known as cloisons, French for partitions. Liquid "glass paste" is painted within the divided areas, the same way stained glass is made. The enamel shrinks from firing in the oven, so the process is repeated several times to fill in the gaps. The finished object is then polished completely revealing the metal dividers.

Antique cloisonne is a collectors piece and very expensive.  Todays cloisonne can be found in pendants, bowls, and home decor items.


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