- CNTV English - CCTV News

景泰蓝 Jing Tai Lan

05-20-2010 13:16 BJT

These beautiful and colorful art crafts in front of the camera are named Jing Tai Lan.

It is a combination of Chinese traditional bronze and china arts, paintings, carving arts and foreign enamel techniques.

A kind of handicraft of decorating enamel on the metal was introduced from Arab into China in the late half of the 13th century.

Such folk art craft has experienced repeated practices and compromise for several hundred years in the hands of Chinese craftsmen.

In the mid 15th century -- the “Jing Tai” period in the Ming Dynasty, this art craft had its own features and were pretty mature.

It used to be named “Jing Tai Lan” because such articles were solely made in blue at the beginning.

“Lan” means blue.

Although there are various colors of enamel developed later on, the name “Jing Tai Lan” is still used to refer to this kind of art craft, but not only a color any more.

Articles of Jing Tai Lan are magnificent, colorful, shinning, and are worthy of appreciating and collecting.

However, its production procedure can be very complicated and thus it is priced so high that the common people usually cannot afford it.

During the Ming and Qing Dynasties, “Jing Tai Lan” was the decorative articles owned only by royal families, a symbol of nobility and wealth.

“Workshop of Enamel” was set up in the Forbidden City during the Qing Dynasty, specializing in producing elegant Jing Tai Lan.

Later on, this craft was introduced to the folk communities, so that it could be passed on over generations and last till now.

Making Jing Tai Lan is a very complicated process which each step closely connected to the previous one.

It can only be finished through more than ten steps including making copper mold, welding copper wire, coloring, polishing, gold-plating and so on.

All steps begin with mold-making.

Firstly, craftsmen choose pieces of copper of exactly the same thickness.

Then they cut and hammer them into the molds for different kinds of articles by repeatedly beating and molding with patience.

And a magnificent and elegant art craft is to be created from the not-eye-absorbing copper mold.

Craftsmen first weld thin and flat wires into all kinds of complex shapes and patterns, such as mountains, rivers, flowers and birds, and then paste them onto the copper mold one by one.

Such a plain vase needs 500-meter-long copper wires.

The brilliant colors on Jing Tai Lan are inlayed into the empty spaces formed by copper wires like this.

This key step is called “coloring blue”.

Another key step which is critical to the colors of Jing Tai Lan is enamel-firing.

Temperature for enamel-firing is usually above 600 centigrade.

Any mistake in temperature will cause wrong colors or sheds of glaze which lead to failure.

After burning, the size of the colors will shrink.

Therefore, steps of enamel-coloring and enamel-firing must be repeated several times.

This vase of peony can be so brilliant and dazzling in colors only after repeated coloring and firing.

Although “polishing” is the last step, it is not the least one. Jing Tai Lan can be brilliant and dazzling in colors only after being polished by sandstones, yellow stones and charcoal.

From the Ming and Qing Dynasties, Jing Tai Lan was introduced overseas with trade ships, and has influenced the production and style of enamel-making in all countries for several hundred years.

Even now, you can find traces of Jing Tai Lan in Japanese pottery making crafts and enamel in western paintings.

These three techniques of enamel have their own advantages and learn from each other.

On May 20th, 2006, the production technique of Jing Tai Lan was approved to be put in the list of the first national non-material cultural heritage by the Chinese Government.

Jing Tai Lan


Editor:Shi Taoyang |Source:

Hot Videos view more

The celebrations are still continuing as the victorious coach, Joachim Loew, has been honored for his achievement in his hometown of Freiburg.
Germany coach Loew honored in hometown of Freiburg

Chinese men´s national team continued its preparations for next year´s Asian Cup, as they managed a one-all draw against visitors Jordan during a football friendly in Harbin, the capital city of Northeast China´s Heilongjiang Province.
China held to 1-1 draw by Jordan

The defending world champs came into the contest with a perfect 6-and-oh record, but they would be in for a tough first half before opening things up in the second.
USA beat Slovenia 119-76 in quarter-finals

Hot Stories more

UK authorities believe killer of James Foley is a British national

Across the UK the hunt is on for James Foley’s killer, who authorities believe is a British national. As Richard Bestic reports from London, Prime Minister David Cameron cut short his summer break to lead his government’s response.

Israeli war jets renews Gaza strike as truce talks stalled

Three Palestinians were killed and 40 others wounded in the intensive Israeli war jets´ airstrikes on the Gaza city on Tuesday night, shortly before an end of a 24-hour ceasefire in the Gaza Strip,

Missouri police arrest dozens after violent night

As the protests in the town of Ferguson, Missouri turned violent with police facing ´heavy gunfire´ from some ´criminal elements´, cops fired tear gas, stun grenades and arrested 31 demonstrators on Monday night.

Picture in news more

More Video News

Choose TV Program

Related Stories