Sunday, August 29, 2010

Visiting a Chinese Cloisonné Vase Factory and Market - Sapphire Princess Cruise

On our return trip from visiting the Great Wall of China, we stopped at a factory and market where they make cloisonné vases.

It was interesting to discover that they start with a copper vase that is hammered into shape over a mold. There numerous steps, gluing on tiny little pieces of copper, then filling them with ceramic material and firing them, etc. and then painted and polished. Making a cloisonne vase is a lot of intensive work.

Naturally I got some photos of each of the steps to making a cloisonné vase and at the end of our tour, guess what! Yep a cloisonné vase store!  Wait till you see how big some of those vases are.
So here are the cloisonné pics...
This is just inside the gates of the factory.  All the little rooms around the square house little workshops were the various steps are being followed to make the vases.

Here we go... Start with a copper vase hammered out to the shape you want.

They have some inventory

 Looks like the cloisenne vases are in various stages of progress 

Here some workers are gluing the little pieces of copper to the vases.

More craftsmen using tweezers to glue the bits of copper to the copper blanks.

See the little pile of copper bits she is picking up with her tweezers...

Here is where the ceramic matgerial is filled into the surface of the vases.

Modern mechanized well lit factory....  well at least there weren't any kids working...

These have been filled and fired once, but they still have a ways to go..

Fired and filled twice....

This is the oven where they do the firing.

This is where the vases are polished after being fired.

Filled and fired and awaiting more filling and firing

And finally this is what you end up with... cloisonné vases!

 This was not a small shop...  doesn't much resemble the cloisonné vase factory.

A very large vase!

Quite a bit of detail... and after seeing how they make these things I'm double impressed.

How many years worth of work do they have here? Incredible!

Not just vases... all kinds of stuff.

Kathy was of course, compelled to make a few purchases.

And now you know how to make your own cloisonné vase!