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We had an absolutely perfect day with our tour guide - Rogin Luo - who took us for a hike along The Great Wall! Didn't know what to expect and were thrilled to have him as our guide. Very imformative, knowledgable and fun! We go to experience a part of The Great Wall that was unrestored and see all its natural beauty. Got a long history lesson along the way!

After the hike, we all went to lunch at a small place at the bottom of the hill. Located in a house, we ate lunch in the proprietors bedroom! What a hoot! Rogin is the Best of the Best! This tour company delivered for us and we are extremely grateful.

Westborough, Massachusetts
Reviews on Tour-Beijing.Com
Cloisonne Craftsmanship

Cloisonne (景泰蓝), one of special arts and crafts in China, is an ancient technique for decorating metalwork ware. it is one bright pear of Beijing culture. It is said that the technique appeared in spring an autumn period and got prevailing in the year of Jingtai, Ming Dynasty. The primary color is blue, hence the Chinese Name of “Jingtai Lan”. The technique is formed firstly pinching silver or golden wires into various patterns, then soldering them on coppery wares, finally stuffing enamel glaze in remaining parts.

Cloisonne, together with lacquer engraving, jade wares and ivory products are recognized as the four superiorities of Beijing. Cloisonne used to be the main component of the royal display. It was reviewed as the treasure of the collections. According to the historical record, on the Chinese New Year’s Eve dinner in the 44th year of Emperor Qianlong, the tableware used by Emperor Qianlong were all made of cloisonné, which proved the position and value of cloisonné. In 2006, it was listed as the first batch of intangible cultural heritage.

Historical Development
Beijing is the birthplace of Chinese cloisonné and the most important place of production. Archaeologists still have no consistency answer on the origin of cloisonné. Someone said it was born in Tang Dynasty. Another view is that it was brought from West Asia and Arab by Kublai Khan on the march to the West. However, they all accepted that cloisonné craftsmanship achieved peak in Ming Dynasty and got the name formally.

As far as the collections in the Palace Museum were concerned, the producing craft got a higher development. Wares were shaped in circular or square and payed more attention to practicability. In addition to bottle, bowl, box, plate, stove and tripod, there were flowerpot, basin, brazier, lamp, candlestick, pot, and so on. It adopted themes from Taoism and Buddhism such as crane, flame and lotus.

Due to the social stability and economical prosperity, the technique developed further in Qing Dynasty. The royal palace set up a imperial industry named “Zao Ban Chu” to produce all kinds of royal wares. Notable artists were invited from nationwide to produce cloisonné for royal court. Cloisonne articles could be seen everywhere in the palace, from articles for daily use to decorations of architecture, even religious goods.

After the opium war in 1840, cloisonné productions with distinctive national style gained favor from foreigners. After the founding of the People’s Republic of China, the culture level and art cultivation of cloisonné artists were improved greatly. Some classic and traditional articles were recovered including six-bladed bottle, begonia bottle, plum bottle, etc..

Add On: Beijing Carved Porcelain
                Beijing Glassware
                Beijing Palace Lantern
                Cheongsam Production Techniques


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