Cloisonné is an ancient craft of unknown origin that probably
developed independently in various regions of the world. The word
cloisonné comes from the French cloison, meaning cell;
and refers to the way each enamel color is confined by a raised metal
partition fashioned from flat, round, or braided wire.
enamels are made from naturally colored minerals that are ground to
a fine talc-like powder. Water is added to each powder color to form
a mixture with the consistency of toothpaste. Each enamel color must
then be painstakingly applied by hand to its sterling silver foundation
using tiny spatulas, delicate paint brushes, or small syringes. When
heated in a kiln, the enamel paste liquefies and, upon cooling, becomes
a smooth, hard, and color-fast glass. Each color in a design has its
own requirements for temperature and length of time in the kiln. Thus,
every color must be heated individually and a precise firing order
established. As with so many classic art forms, masters of the craft
of cloisonné are growing more difficult to find.
Exquisite examples of cloisonné jewelry have been found in
Chinese royal tombs and in Egyptian burial sites thousands of years
old. Because of its inherent durability, a well cared for piece of
BAMBOO Jewelry can be passed from generation to generation. There
is no reason a BAMBOO Jewelry pin or earrings shouldnt last for dozens,
hundreds, or even thousands of years! Cloisonné jewelry is
truly for the ages.