Reinventing Cloisonne

 

REINVENTING IMPERIAL CRAFT CLOISONNE

Are you looking for something traditional with a modern twist to make your interior unique and fashionable? – The LALA CURIO decorative Cloisonné Tiles combine both the old and the new in a humorous and fanciful way. Genius, no?

Cloisonné is a foreign art form for many, most are not familiar with the unique and imperial style of Chinese crafts. Considered one of the oldest and most esteemed crafts from its time; cloisonné first developed in the Near East in as early as the 6th century, spreading to the Byzantine Empire, and from there throughout the Silk Road to China, Korea and Japan. I’ve been exposed to the craftsmanship since I was young, my family is made up of three-generations of expertise in craft furniture as well as a deep knowledge of the art of cloisonné. In fact, my grandmother traded cloisonné in Hong Kong all throughout the 1970s .I grew up learning about the art form and growing an appreciation for it. And as I grew older and became more invested and interested in the world of design, I wanted to expand my knowledge even further. I visited a traditional cloisonné factory workshop in the outskirts of Beijing. I watched closely, watching the skilled artisans bending the bronze wires into shapes and filling their designs with succulent pigments layer by layer. I came back from my trip with an even greater admiration for the wonderful craft. Because of this I wanted to reinvent this unique and very special technique and show you all through our home décor and other crafts how amazing cloisonné is.

 

HISTORY OF CLOISONNE

The cloisonné enamel technique was most likely introduced into China during the Mongol Yuan dynasty (1279–1368) and was at its peak during the Qianlong Reign (1736-96), particularly because of Qianlong’s great interest in the decorative arts. Under Qianlong, the available palette of opaque enamels exceeded 20 colors. Cloisonné pieces were made for domestic use in the palace, including thrones, pagodas, screens and shrines, incense burners and vessels took complex archaic and geometric forms; animal shapes included the dove. Political events, such as the sack of the summer palace during the Second Opium War in 1860 by British and French troops, prompted a rediscovery of cloisonné in Europe, especially in France.

 

TECHNIQUE OF CLOISONNE

Skilled craftsmen bend and weave bronze wires into intricate patterns, where pigmented enamel is then meticulously poured into the partitions. The enamel is fired, burnished in 24 karat gold and its surface is polished with a pumice stone. Watching the skilled artisans handcraft these beautiful pieces of cloisonné is breathtaking and truly inspiring.

LALA CURIO voyaged back to Imperial China, delving into the ancient forgotten arts, drawing inspiration from Chinese crafts and returning with the creation of our Cloisonné Tiles. Clever I think! The foundation and craftsmanship was already there, all we had to do was give the whole thing a modern twist and add the whimsical LALA CURIO spirit. It took three years of research and developing a technique that would allow us to transform the esteemed art of cloisonné into what we were envisioning. We turned the traditional 3D vessels into 2D tiles that could be adapted to be used in any part of your interior.

I love combining all of the different colors, shapes and designs. As I always say, ‘be creative, love them and make them magical!’ My design team helped me develop more and more new designs for our decorative tiles, each one better than the last. As time went on and we thought of new designs and new concepts we released more collections of our handcrafted decorative tiles. Check out each of our collections, aren’t they whimsically modern in such a unique way? These tiles are like the herbs and spices of your decoration at home.

 

SOMETHING A LITTLE MORE TRADITIONAL...

WAVES OF COLORS

Our Cabinet of Curiosities decorative tile collection gives you endless possibilities and opportunity to create waves of colors throughout your interior. You can stay neutral with browns, blues or reds or you can go bold with waves of bright assorted colors. Skilled artisans fill the tiles with pigments layer by layer mimicking grains of stone. Similar to the pattern of the Malachite stone, these cloisonné tiles can give your interior waves of colors with an Earthy feel.

 

THE SKY IS THE LIMIT

The Birds of Paradise cloisonné tile collection represents LALA CURIO’s spirit and how we choose to move through the interior design world. Birds are unique, free flying through the sky without any boundaries. LALA CURIO aims to operate in that same playful spirit. Designing interiors and home décor in a uniquely fanciful and eccentric fashion while ignoring the boundaries of conventional design. With our Birds of Paradise decorative cloisonné tiles you can show that you also embody the fanciful and free-spirited nature just as LALA CURIO.

 

LESS IS MORE

If the fanciful colors and lively designs aren’t your taste, the minimalist tiles from our Reda Amalou collection are perfect for you. At LALA CURIO we love colors and creating theatrical interiors, so for this collection we enlisted the help of the infamous French architect, Red Amalou. With him, we created a collection of tiles perfect for those who have an appreciation for the imperial craft of cloisonné and wish to incorporate the unique craft into their interior, but are a little more of a minimalist.

 

GETTING A LITTLE CREATIVE

Of course we can decorate our walls with our cloisonné tiles in many ways and trough new combinations which can be super fun, but on top of that I have thought of other functions for my new little friends too.

I love incorporating our side tables, where you can creatively choose your favorite tiles and make your own unique creation. These tables are perfect to bring stateliness to your contemporary home!

But this is not all, we even use the tiles to decorate beautiful lacquer boxes to give them an extra portion of coolness. I bet you haven’t seen any boxes like these before, the have the perfect combination of simplicity and elegance!

 

BIGGER IS ALWAYS BETTER

After creating all of our amazing collections and adapting those tiles for various creative uses, we wanted to expand. We tried thinking of ways we could possibly improve upon our fabulous cloisonné tiles. Then I thought of the famous saying, ‘bigger is always better’ and with that, a new era of our cloisonné tiles began. The possibilities were now endless with this new mindset and we soon incorporated the art of cloisonné in much more of the work we did. We added our handcrafted cloisonné to the face of our decorative screens and cabinets.

And we didn’t stop there. We found ways to make our cloisonné even bigger and even better, creating an even bigger impact among the design world. In some of our recent projects you can see our cloisonné adorning entire walls. As LALA CURIO continues on into the future, I am so excited to see what new places we take our cloisonné to. Who knows what’s to come next, but with LALA CURIO the possibilities are endless!