Somewhere along the high road to Beijing I ran into this spattered scene of a daily grind:
Just one of a dozen lines-worker on the polishing stage of what is to be another pricey cloisonne up for grabs at the Golden Palace Friendship Store, the seat of Beijing’s exquisite fired-enamelware and jewelries. Not your ordinary souvenir shop though. When I said the Great Wall is steep, it’s because I haven’t seen the prices here.
And they have a good reason for this. “CloisonnŽ”, the Chinese art of inlaying colorful designs into a metal base, which dates back to centuries ago, is a labor-intensive craft involving a complex multi-step enamel process. Put it simply –this is a real grind. Or so it says here.
Above, finish products @ 14,500 RMB ($2,271.37) each. Below, some of the arts and crafts that made the store live up to its name. What blew my mind here was a life-size sculpture of what seemed like a twin Pharaoh hound in gold plate. The price: 360,000RMB ($56,392.74)!