I also have this in my tourist traps since i am not into this stuff however for those who love this, the factory is the largest in the beijing area and when you go to a great wall tour whether group or private, all pass by here so you can get your chance to buy cloisonne and ceramics here. Cloisonne was invented by the Byzantine empire but it reached china via the silk road in the Ming Dynasty and since then the chinese became expert in cliosonne making and became good artisans of the craft hence these stuff are sought all over the world.
What to buy: cloisonne in various shapes and sizes like bangles, bracelets, figurines, jars, plates, ornamentals and other assortments!
What to pay: maxx out your credit card
I visited this shop as part of our tour. First, you are taken to the factory to take a look of how their products are made and then, you find the store.
There are so, so many things to see and buy. At least to me, it wasn´t that expensive and you can buy many souvenirs to take home.
The brochure I have from this place says: "Cloisonne, maned as enamelware, have originated in Beijing of Yuan dynasty and prevailed during the Jingtai period (1450-1456) of Ming Dinasty."
What to buy: pens, keyrings, bracelets, jars, etc, etc, it's imposible not to buy something! it was worthwhile!
What to pay: As much as you want. They prices are ok.
I think, this was the shop I have been visited. Therefore I´m unable to read any Chinese, I have to trust my traveldiary ;-)
What to buy: Of course Cloisonne craft and art.
- Chopsticks, like on the picture.
- vases in every form and style
- boxes in all sizes
- tables in small sizes (otherwise you would have a transportation problem)
What to pay: It`s absolutely not expensive. Your friends and relatives will enjoy your gifts very much.
The shop below the factory is quite large and roomy with plenty of stock.
What to buy: Plenty of great gift's, souvenirs and ornaments.
We purchased beautiful bracelet's and chop sticks as i was given two beautiful vace to bring back.....lucky me!
What to pay: Doesn't matter, when will you be back?
Talking about local arts and crafts, the most important in Beijing are:
- Cloisonné (jing3 tai4 lan2)
- Ivory carvings
- Carved lacquer ware and
A little bit of History
Cloisonné originated in Beijing during the Yuan Dynasty (1271 - 1368).
The emperor of the 'Jingtai' period during the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644) was very fond of the bronze-casting techniques and improved the color process, creating the bright blue (lan2), then the “jing3 tai4 lan2” (jing3 tai4 blue) cloisonné products became popular among the people.
To make a cloisonné piece, copper is molded into the shape of the finished piece and then intricate engravings are made with a copper wire. The piece is also fired and polished.
Five sophisticated processes:
1) Model hammering
2) Filigree welding
3) Enamel filling
4) Surface polishing
For a better understanding, please, take a look at the following website
Jing3 tai4 lan2 can be found on large objects such as vases and other decorative items like jars, as well as small items like earrings, bracelets or chopsticks.
Where can I buy Beijing cloisonné?
You can find cloisonné everywhere, from the smallest tourist shops to the largest shopping mall. Prices in the largest malls are fixed, you will have no chance at all to bargain.
In order to save time and be sure not to buy fake items (keep in mind this is a huge industry in China and already a common practice) go to Huairou Cloisonné Factory situated close to the Mutianyu Great Wall.
Besides, you can also watch all the stages of the manufacturing process to see how the exquisite cloisonné pieces are produced.
Special tip: go early morning to the Mutianyu Great Wall (much more interesting than the Badaling Great Wall), enjoy the nature (you can even slide down from the top) and then head to the Huairou Cloisonné Factory.
Enjoy your time in Beijing!
Cloisonne have originated in Beijing during the Yuang Dynasty and become prevalent during the reign of Jing Tai period (1450-1456) In the Ming Dynasty.Its typically named "the blue of Jin Tai" as blue was the dominant color of enameling..
Making of cloisonne involves quite elaborated and complicated processes such as
Base hammering of copper
Copper strips inlaying
Chinese artisans constantly improved and enhanced the techniques of producing extraordinary products
What to buy: any souvenir
What to pay: if its more than 1000 usd you can bargain otherwise you have to accept the price
At the factory, where cloisonne artefacts are made, it was nice to watch the craftsmen work. They are so skilful. I took some pictures of the work shop. When you get to know the rather complicated method how these exquisite items are made and what elaborate work is required, you start to really appreciate the price tag on some of them. Wonderful gifts to take home and high quality!
We visited a cloissone factory as part of the tour stop before proceeding to the Great Wall.
Cloissone (enamel ware) started during the Yuan Dynasty (1450-1456) and blue was then the predominant color for enameling. Cloissone articles were painstakingly made because these involve base-hammering of copper, soldering, enamel-filling of different colors, enamel firing, polishing and gilding. I've seen young women who are soldering the complicated designs and laboriously subjecting the article into intense heat to make the filling sink. Everything is done by hand!
Knowing how painstaking the procedures of making the cloissone, I can appreciate the Chinese huge jars that adorn hotel lobbies. Touch the surface of those jars and feel the soldered designs which make them different from ordinary ceramic jars.
What to buy: I bought a pair of earrings (35-60 yuan) and bangle (25-100). They also have those huge jars and trinkets. You can pay in US dollars and your change will be given in yuan.
when on a guided tour, or visitng the various emporiums, you will be confronted by shelves of enamelware of all colours, separated by brass strips that separate the colours.
this art form originally from the middle east. introduced by the Arab Traders is now synonmous with the Beijing and all Arts & Crafts stores throughout China
more about the techniques later ;-)))
What to pay: above average for " Jing Gung " finer items
The State store presents marvellous vessels.
The artisan makes a drawing on the flask with a copper thread.
Then, an other one put the colour (two layers) and the work is baked in the oven.
For the finishing the vessel is polished.
What to pay: The price depend on your skill to bargain.
But remember : in China is like other countries, the true beautiful things are expensive.
For a cheap price you can bring from China a sample...
Beijing Cloisonne Factory is the professional cloisonne made factory, it's 1km far from south gate of the Tample of the Haven.
What to buy: Cloisonne
Desite my resevations about the factory (see tourist trap), cloisonne is still a good buy as a gift. But sometimes may be a bit difficult to fit in your bag.