Cloisonné is an ancient technique for decorating metalwork objects, using vitreous enamel, or in earlier times, inlays of cut gemstones, glass, and other materials. The technique involves the soldering or adhering of silver or gold wires or thin strips placed on their edges of the surface. These remain visible in the finished piece, separating the different compartments of the enamel or inlays, which often consist of several colours. Cloisonné enamel objects are worked on with enamel powder made into a paste, which then needs to be fired in a kiln. Chinese cloisonné is sometimes confused with Canton enamel, a similar type of enamel work that is painted on freehand and does not utilize partitions to hold the colours separate. For further items in this category see my Ceramics page.
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