Posted by Emily Block | 0 comments

Beijing (Part 2)

  After a bit of a drive, we arrived at a restaurant for lunch.  The food was ok, but it was still exciting to be eating my first official Chinese meal.

(We are bundled up because most restaurants, including this one, are not heated.

Right across the parking lot, we toured a Cloisonné factory.  I'll let the sign tell you what that is...

It was really interesting to see how these pieces were made.  The first step was to make the underlying structure for the vase, plate, or whatever else the piece would become. 

 The structures were made of coper and intricate designs were soldered on to the surface.

Then, artist would fill in the different sections with brightly colored pigment.  The recipe for the pigment is a safely guarded secret.  Similar types of pieces can be found all over the world, but all those pigments will fade over time.  Only the pieces from the factory will last for hundreds of years.  (Or so I was told.)

The glazed pieces were sprinkled with ash and then fired to set the colors.

The final step was to sand and polish the fired piece.  

After the tour we had some time to browse through the shop and explore the area.  I spent most of the time exploring the area because well, there were puppies.

So much for not petting the animals...

And also:  Rawr!


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