By Lee Kyung-sik
Cloisonné artist in Korea, Madam Lee Su-kyung, is a widely known lady artist in Korea for the exceptionally high quality of Chilbo (cloisonné) work. Korea's unique culture brand which combines beautiful traditional craft of cloisonné with the modern design to create a new value.
Chilbo in Korea is considered one of the few most beautiful jewelries works made by human beings.
Cloisonné (Chilbo) has been treasured since long ago by esteemed people as an amulet to keep good luck and happiness. Cloisonné, as the name implies, has the meanings of seven treasures--gold, silver, glass, white coral, agate, pearl and coral--as well as containing all seven colors.
First, the famed Korean lady cloisonné artist, Cloisoo, prays for the wishes of the one who will hold the cloisonné be realized. After determining the design and color with the consideration of message and story to be included in the work, it is designed by embroidering with 99.9% pure-silver lines. Then, the works are created by stacking beautiful enamel of various colors and baking several times at high temperature over 800℃.
The works of cloisonne, made with the sincerity of the artisans of Cloisoo, are more beautiful than any other jewels, and the color never fades and lasts for thousands of years. Cloisonné, which shows the deep and brilliant color only when sincere hearts are embodied, is considered by many people as the most beautiful handmade jewel in the world.
1. She prays that the dream of the recipient of the work will come true, and that people who work together can be safely finished without injury.
2. She makes sketch of the design and color considering the
message of the work and customer’s order.
3. She tries out make 99.9% pure silver wire and bend one by one according to the shape designed previously.
4. She fills the glaze with various beautiful colors. Inside and outside of the attached, including the hidden lines.
5. Baking dozens and hundreds of times until the perfect work is born at a high temperature of 800 degrees in Celsius.
6. Breath of craftsmanship. The only work in the world is created if you
polish and grind the surface to make the finished cloisonné piece brighter.
Artist’s faith: The tenacity of the couple of Soo-kyoung Lee and
the late Ik-seon Kim for colors during over 50 years, has resulted in burning all impurities at the high temperature of 800℃ and only the essence of the true colors.
The series of processes of burning all conscious and unconscious distracting thoughts with fire for a long time, made Master Soo-kyoung Lee’s mind purer,
which is projected onto the works, making happy even the heart of those who encounter the works.
Personal history of artist: Selected as Korea-EU FTA representative product
(Exhibition at Harrods, London). Selected as a protocol gift supplier for Blue House & Ministry of Foreign Affairs;
Exhibition at Burj Al Arab Hotel, Dubai: The master artisan was invited for lectures at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) in Savannah City and University of Virginia, USA. She also participated in Milano Expo in Italy, and so forth.
Excerpts from the statement the artist on her life as an artist:
The stars in the night sky that I saw as a child, and the moon, the sun and the scenery of nature were the abundant materials which made me, dreaming of a young girl of literary interests, feel the beauty of nature. Those days were the continuances of suffering due to the sudden failure of my father’s business, however, the classical music of Sarasate’s Zigeunerweisen, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky and the literature such as ‘The Human Condition’ by Junpei Gomikawa and ‘The Hall of Women’ by Madame Pearl S. Buck have added my mental depth.
In the hardship of my difficult life, the life and works of artists in the classical music and literature have provided me with a lot of inspiration and endurance, and they were the driving force that allowed the full scope of my own world of imagination.
What I thought when I have consistently studied to create cloisonné jewelry was to encourage the people who are in difficulty, to heal the depressed people and to give hope for the failed.
The thought became my conviction. Now I want to devote the rest of the life to create my works that make the world warmer and more meaningful.
Brand name Cloisoo:
Cloisoo is the brand that creates the works in which constantly challenging artistry and creativity are alive, inheriting all the unique know-hows of the couple of Soo-kyoung Lee and the late Ik-seon Kim, who are the masters of Korean Cloisonné as well as the founders of the company. They create a new value through the combination of the tenacity for colors with soul and the modern designs, and the works are the essence of colors born through hundreds of thousands of baking processes, with human agony and perseverance.
The works of Cloisoo are born in innumerable processes. The processes to create the colors of unchanging truth are by no means easy, but we know that our works have a lot of power in those processes. Everything changes quickly and pursues only speed, however, Cloisoo loves the whole processes to create the works, and does neither miss anything nor handle carelessly. Thus, we call the unchanging thing truth and Cloisoo as well. You can encounter the human agony, perseverance, humility and pure spirit in the works of Cloisoo. The works of Cloisoo will make us beautiful, sometimes comfort our soul and lead us to a better world.
Biographical data of Cloisoo:
March 1968: Studied the technique of cloisonné together with the late Advisor Kim Ik-seon at Nakseonjae of Changdeok Palace in Seoul.
November 1968: Established Korea cloisonné Craft company.
May 1979: Participated in Premium International Expo in New York, USA.
November 1984: Being awarded IDEA Excellence Prize at Seoul International Trade Fair.
July 1993: Participated in the demonstration at Daejeon Expo.
September 2000: Was appointed as the 2nd Korean Millennium Product.
April 2002: Was appointed as Craft company designated by Ulsan Metropolitan City.
December 2004: Hosted exhibition at Burj Al Arab Hotel, Dubai.
August 2011: Was selected as Korea-EU FTA representative product (Exhibition at Harrods, London).
March 2012: Designated as 2012 Export Capability Enhancing Business by Regional Small & Medium Business Administration in Busan and Ulsan.
March 2013: Won Grand Prize for Ulsan Women’s Culture Service Award.
July 2014: Appointed as Master Artisan of cloisonné craft by The Federation of Artistic & Cultural Organization of Korea.
September 2014: Applied for the trademark “Cloisoo.”
September 2018: Opened Cloisoo Head Office gallery in Ulsan.
April 2019: Held the Private Exhibition of Master Artisan Lee Soo-kyeong (Kloisoo Ehwa Exhibition).
She has received high praises from the distinguished leaders of many different countries of the world, who included such distinguished personalities as the Heads of Government and many other important personalities of the different countries of the world.
Some of exemplary works:
Yeonliji Wine Glass (cloisonné and silver 99.9%, crystal): Although it has different roots, Yeonliji is connected to one and lives together forever. ‘Yeonliji’, containing the message of eternal love and friendship, has been presented as a state gift to President and Mrs. Joachim Gauck of Germany and Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang. As the last one of three works, its scarcity and the quality of work are evaluated as the highest value.
Cloisonne, Brass, Silver wire 99.9%: An ax has the meaning to overcome any difficulties and move forward. This work contains the energy and message that the recipient’s life can advance vigorously overcoming any difficulty with the energy of luck and happiness, together with Cloisonne signifying good luck and ‘floral medallion motif’ of the celestial flower.
New value: The like-no-other specificity in the world completed only by the breath of an artisan a new value only Cloisoo can convey.
Artwork: Hwa-eom’s Flowers. All things in universe are harmonized or destroyed. And they fuse again in time and space.
The work represents the flower of Hwaeom which accepts all sorts of cloisonné jewels ranging from honest and pretty, to ugly and smooth jewels, studied together by Master Artisan Lee Soo-kyeong and Advisor Kim Ik-seon. All the things in the universe have a relationship one another, thus they harmonize or perish. And they merge into one, becoming the cause of everything in space and time.
One circle, shown in the work, means the essence of difference people and the essence of different universe. Though everything is different, they are united and harmoniously share in this world and universe. The key of this work is the largest circle in the middle.
The circle, meaning oneself, expresses that my surroundings, my world and my universe can be changed depending on how I act and do. In other words, if I search for my whole self and constantly make sincere efforts, I can change everything. The Master has made the work expressing visually the inherent value of the enlightened individual’s infinite power, instead of one’s selfishness. (8,000 cloisonne beads)
Numberless anguishes come from within. The number, 108, among the people with traditional Buddhist belief in Korea anguish, with the meaning to cleanse repeatedly to prevent dirt. “108 Colors of Hope,” which lists the cloisonné colors studied from 1968 till today, is the work containing the colors of Master Artisan Lee Soo-kyeong who has been loved for her works for a long time. At all 108 spaces, anguish disappears and cloisonné pellets finally glitter like blooming flowers.
Art work of paradise: It shows the harmony between the cranes and the forest surrounding the entire vase. The depictions of cranes and clouds show delicate beauty, classic, elegance and delicacy. The forest surrounding the vase presents a magnificent view with cranes and clouds.
Tradition: The beauty and mystique of Korean traditions are widely recognized overseas. We reinterpret and present Korean tradition through sensuous attention which Cloisoo only possesses as the traditional cloisonné craft.
Silver cloisonné hairpin gives the feeling of nobility from the straight line. It is a beautiful work providing a glimpse of craftsmanship at every single petal with flying vividness and blooming brightly with fragrance.
Silver Dodam Norigae: The beauty of Korean traditional crafts was reborn in the hands of Cloisoo. Dodam knickknack, derived from Korean word ‘dodam’ that means attractive and smart, is a work that expresses the heart of Cloisoo, which hopes to comfort you and extend the hand when you are tired, as a tree for you.
Silver Sinbi Norigae: cloisonné instills the mysterious world beyond the reality, with splendid colors based on five cardinal colors of Korea which express the vitality of nature and human-being.
Silver mini-hairpin: A traditional hair ornament decorated in beautiful colors beloved by modern women, providing you the beauty of the old days as it is.
Jade wooden comb: The everlasting fragrance of the comb has the never-ending passionate love and soaks into the most beautiful and happy moments of life presented to the beloved one as a wedding gift.
Tableware: The new home-styling suggested by Cloisoo. Your own appetizing and eye-catching tableware.
Boasting a clean and fine and lovely figure like a beautiful flower scattered on a white river. you value. You can sensuously decorate your own space with unique and special work.
It is a line of jewelry for customers with sensuous and elegant design,
filled with reasonable and practical portion.
Her beloved work, still my No. 1 / It is the work that Master Lee Soo-kyung has loved for a long time, and its simple but elegant design of the artwork with the motif of royal family raises the dignity of a wearer to the higher level. Royal Series, which symbolizes ‘royal family’, has been loved by our customers for a long period.
You who play lovingly with affection. The layered form expresses a close relationship, and the diamond and royal zircon set on it is a meaning to wish that the relationship shines preciously. You who play lovingly with affection! Feel the happiness and warmth of meeting.
It is a new Cloisoo 2020 S/F product that expresses the flower petals that are scattered in the spring breeze and shows the beauty of Chilbo hidden in the petals.
Hometown, 18K Madona Bracelets: Prima donna, the only gift for me who is the protagonist of life! It is a creative work with a clock-like design different from the existing bracelets, and makes Cloisonne work stand out more with 18K rose gold and 90 diamonds using gold lines. the petals.
18K Tempo necklace: On the cloisonné meaning good luck, there is a spider web that signifies relationship, and a spider, meaning maternal affection, hangs around. ‘Tempo’, means warm fluttering of parents and children, is recommended as a precious gift for parents.
18K gold Bella set: My jewelry which anyone cannot own, Bella means “the most beautiful woman in the world.” Feel the deep color of cloisonné the delicacy of gemstone, and the splendor of gold all at the same time.
18K Jeus nect-tie pin set: Its simple and modern design gives off an urban image. The high-quality frame and the deep color of cloisonné give you a more refined look. The black tiger, which symbolizes 2022, represents strong leadership and independence.