Cloisonné Making

Cloisonné VaseCloisonne Making requires rather complicated processes. The skill and the workmanship of cloisonne making have been handed down from the Ming Dynasty. Usually cloisonné making contains several steps :
(1) Body Making:Copper is the material used for making the body. This is because copper is very flexible and can be easily hammered to the shape of the products, like the vases, jars , bowls , plates , ashtrays, etc.
(2) Copper Wire Cutting: Long copper-wire with several layers stuck together form a special copper filigree for one of the processes of making cloisonné&. According to the drawing, the craftsman cuts the copper wire and twists it into different shapes. Then the flat copper wire is fixed in certain patterns.
(3) Copper wire Inlay: The craftsmen solder the patterned copper wire onto the body with special glue so as to make up a complicated but beautiful complete pattern on the body.
4)Enamel Filling:In this workshop, you can see some plates containing different colored materials placed in front of the workers. The colored material or enamel is a kind of mineral with rich colors. It is ground into tiny powder, mixed in water and contained in different plates. The workers put the various colored powder into little compartments separated by the copper wires. By doing this, you can see the formation of a colorful pattern on the copper body with enamel fillings.
(5) Enamel Firing:The copper body with enamel fillings wings will be put into the oven where the temperature is about 900℃ (1650℉ ) , After firing, the colored enamel in the little compartments will sink down a bit. That requires a repeated filling for several times ( at least three times) until the little compartments are finally filled up.
(6) Polishing: There are three steps involved in the process of polishing the unfinished products. The first step is done by machine polishing so as to make the copper wire and the fillings in the little compartments even. And then again, the products are put to fire. After that, the products need to be polished once more with a whetstone. At last, a piece of hard carbon is used to polish the product again to enhance the product’s luster and smoothness on the surface.
(7) Gilding: The last process is done by placing the product in a gold or silver fluid, charged with electric current. The exposed parts of the copper wire and the metal fringes on the product will be smoothly and evenly gilded so that the metal part of the product will not get rusty. Finally, the product will again undergo another electroplating and then a slight polishing will be the final touch. The finished product is done! It looks very splendid after all these processs. Chinese cloisonné was offered first prize at the Chicago World Fair in 1904, and the Panama International Fair in 1915 respectively.

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