Shippoyaki (cloisonne) has been part of the world of Japanese art for hundreds of years. The earliest example is in the Asuka Period in the latter part of the 6th century.


In this art, thin strips of wire, or metal strips, are attached to a metal base in the form of cells, which create the form desired for the object. Then enamel glass is put into the cells thus made. The object is then put into an oven to melt the glass. Then, they are polished until the wires can be seen. The wires can be of brass, silver, or gold, which adds much to the beauty of each item created.


There are many examples of this ancient art everywhere in Japan. In the 17th century, it became very popular, and spread all over the country. This was in the Edo Era. Several artistic pieces are credited to the Momoyama Period, which I call the Golden Age of Art in Japan. This period was short, but magnificent! Due to the intricacy of the work, there is some doubt about several beautiful pieces being made in Japan, however.


It is supposed that they originated in China. Both China and Korea had used this art before Japan adopted it from artists coming to this country. Many of those people came during the time of the Land Pulling Legend. Perhaps that was around 622. This was a time of turmoil in Korea and China.


1634 is the earliest time that pieces of cloisonne have been credited to the Edo Era. Before that time, many pieces were made, but the makers names are unknown, as was customary in those ancient times. The Shosoin treasury in Nara, has a mirror that is dated around 750 AD. There is little doubt that the art of shippo, was known, and used, in Japan in the 8th century. Objects decorated with shippo are numerous: door pulls, nail covers, hibachi (a place for a charcoal fire), coal tongs, wine cups, sword fittings, water droppers for inkstones, furniture handles, and dozens of other things.


It is a much loved part of Japanese art. Probably the best shippo was made in the early 18th century. After that, there was a decline in this art, but it was revived, and is gaining again in popularity. In fact, there are hobby groups all over the world, who are taking up this ancient art. They are producing interesting, and beautiful objects for use and decoration around the house, as well as jewelry. Wouldn’t you like to try this? It might be a lot of fun.


adsense 関連コンテンツ