From the French CLOISONS meaning partitions,cloisonne is a centuries-old technique of baking ground glass onto a metal surface, seperating the colors by thin bands of wire partitions. It predates the reign of China's Ming Dynasty (1368 to 1644). While China is most well known for is highquality cloissonne works, the art form actually originated in the near east, and made its way through the Byzantine Empire to China by way of the silk trade routes.