A technical note on enamel colors and wires
Re: Japanese Cloisonne Ojime - A Visual Pun -- beadiste Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: beadiste Post Reply
07/21/2017, 08:51:09

The various different sizes of the wires is notable, as well as the use of flattened twisted wire.

I have yet to find an example of this combined wires technique in Chinese cloisonne prior to the Kuo factory in Taiwan circa the 1970s.

The use of glossy brown enamel is also not something seen in Chinese cloisonne from the likely era of this ojime. Until the Beijing Enamel Company was established in the late 1950s, Chinese cloisonne seems to have relied upon a crushed mixture of rust red and black to simulate brown, usually for branch stems. Gray was likewise a mixture of black and white glass.

I mention this because Japanese cloisonne enamel colors exploded after 1870, when the German glass and ceramics chemist Gottfried Wagner was hired by the government and taught new enamel composition methods. The wall of Namikawa Yasuyuki's atelier, for example, shows what appears to be well over a hundred colors. Fredric Schneider's book states:

"By 1895 Namikawa Sosuke was said to have invented 360 new colors. Likewise, Yasuyuki regularly created as many as twenty different shades of each of the dozens of colors he used; swatch-card examples of these are preserved in the Namikawa Cloisonne Museum of Kyoto. Yasuyuki's daughter describes at length the sleepless nights and severe personal effort he endured to create new colors as late as 1906. The perfection of his enamels was remarked upon by the judges at the 1895 Fourth Domestic Exposition, where they awarded him a first prize and noted his "exquisite colouring" and "flawless surface with no pitting or bubbles, achieved through painstaking study of glazing and firing." Harada, in 1911, singled out Nagoya's Kawade Shibataro for his innovative colors, and a 1912 auction catalog states that Hayashi Kodenji had used over fifty-one different shaes of enamel on one six-inch high incense burner. As a matter of comparison with those achievements, in the mid ninetheenth century, the Sevres porcelain factory produced only about fifty shades of colors."

namikawaWorkshop.JPG (212.6 KB)  

Modified by beadiste at Fri, Jul 21, 2017, 10:25:58

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