Chinese Iron Balls
How Iron Balls Are Made
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How Iron Balls Are Made

At first, they iron balls were made of solid iron, but was later changed to a hollow iron ball with a musical chime placed inside.  This gave the balls their distinct feature known throughout the world.  Later the iron balls were made into artistic pieces through a cloisonne process. Almost all of the iron balls today are hand crafted in China. 

First, two metal plates are punched into two half spheres.  A metal chime is welded inside and a ball bearing is placed inside to knock on the chime when the balls are in motion.  Then the two half spheres are welded together and grounded down at the joints.  Cloisonne artisans then use copper strips to create symbolic figures and characters that are placed on the balls.  Common symbols are the yin yang, dragon and phoenix, happiness characters and more.  Then they use a special enamel paint to fill in the spaces between the copper strips.  When enamel paint is dry, the balls are placed into a mold to coat the entire ball with enamel paint that will give the ball its overall color.  Then the balls are taken out of the mold and hand grounded down and polished until the symbols and characters emerge.  The result is a beautiful spherical work of art.

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