Ancient enamel craft to be revived after 200 years
Updated: 2015-12-22 16:32
An antique cloisonne enamel bowl made during the Qing Dynasty. [File photo]
Experts in Beijing are launching a program aimed at reviving the mysterious art of making imperial enamel ware, the Beijing Youth Daily reported on Monday.
The ancient craft, which is known as the art of cloisonné enamel or Jingtailan in Chinese, was handed down from the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), but has been lost for more than 200 years.
Cloisonné has been very popular at different times in China's history, especially during the reign of Emperors Kangxi, Yongzheng, and Qianlong in the Qing Dynasty. Works made from the craft represent some of the finest examples of ceramic handicraft in China.
The craft disappeared after the Qianlong period due to its complicated workmanship. Various forms of imitation have cropped up, but none can compete with the original process.
Sun Heyang, the founder of an enamel research institute, said imperial enamel art requires 167 elaborate, complicated processes to produce works that are beautiful, brilliant, and splendid.
Since the late 1990s, experts have been drawing on reference material and literature to help bring to life enamel painting on porcelain, and they are finally ready to once again present this art treasure to the public.