Home>>>Chinese culture>>>>Chinese Craft

 Chinese wood carving

Chinese wood carving history

Introduce the category of the wood carving first. The wood carving category of the our country is numerous, Spread all over in the big river south north, Most of notability is:The eastyangwood carving of Zhejiang Guangdong gold paint wood carving、box wood carving of Wenzhou The longan wood carving of Fukien,The person calls"Four big fame carve" 。Other category such as:Song fukai wood carving, white wood carving, always
in wood carving, Shanghai in cloud in川 in red wood carving, sword in in the style of antique wood carving, Suzhou in Nanking linhua wood carving, spring state color wood carving ---- these wood carvingses all get a history for because of place, choosing material or crafts special features, having long, have the higher craft the level with the tradition special features, can work clever artisan, tree banner every locality;Have of though talent person of younger generation, but the wood carving technical skill is gradually consummate, shape too day attain perfect, have the fresh and clear place the special features.
The category of the wood carving returns to divide the craft wood carving with the art wood carving two major type.The craft wood carving is usually wood carving to point to spread in the folks, have the long history with the traditional color in strong race, pay attention to the thinlou , rival divine skill in carve in extract handicraft product.The craft wood carving divides again to appreciate the sex purely with the 2 types : function.Appreciating the sex wood carving is to display, decorates in the cabinet , window, set, several, case, on, provide the small scaled and lone art in what person appreciate article.It is work that craft to make use of stereoscopic circle carve or semicircle carves techniquecarve system, the expressional topic, contents is extensive, having flower, bird, animals, men and women, history person etc., having some to reflect the actuality living, have the thought meaning.Such as boxwood carving of Wenzhou , the product is scholar by the late Ching dynasty the shape style that draw affects with the lines, the simple and honest circle in method in knife is smooth, the construction truth or falsity livings mutually, having the special features of the poetry painting idea.The function wood carving is to points the exploitation wood carving craft decorate of, practical with the art article that art combine together.Such as:Palace lantern, floor lamp, screen, of mirror , stack for holding pens, the frame of mirror , clock, jewel box, niche for Buddha and building parts, furniture carve decorationsetc..Still there is just for other handicraft product preparing decorative and several, case,,, such as jade article, tooth carve , vase, jewelry, china etc., these artses article goes together with to decorate with the wood carving, setting off by contrast the corpus, enrich the whole, and increased the art enjoy the value.

In wood carving art, craft wood carving although need according to a certain adornment( they are big to the tradition to construct, classic furniture, temples, absolute being altar ;It is small to arrive the living tools and implements, on the desk the decoration), but is an engraving essence in the art part.Because this kind of wood carving demand has great capacity, the application is wide, so generally be designed by consummate and old entertainer in rich in experience, technical skill or craft art teachers carve system, again worker been familiar with by craft large quantity engraving replication of.Therefore on the topic the manifestation ascend to there will be the certain norm with the program, creation work preface too very clear and definite, divide the cog and fix thin, beat to whet, ascend the light, install, bottom an etc. flowing water homework.

The art wood carving is usually work to point to conceive outline the choiceness content deep, have the unique, can reflect author's esthetic sense, art method with the art technique.Art wood carving generally and all is all designed by author what manufacture complete, so he can pierce through always and hold the idea of the artistic reads with pursue.Art wood carving of artistic method besides carving with other the material similar is person to express the objective world with the body who appearance that characteristic with thing, or realistic, or pile it on, or the elephant of take out, still join together to make use of the timber, belong to from the primitive material to scoop out the beautiful main factor in the sex, with well now wood carve art of the interest is beautiful with the material.Topic contents and manifestations of the art wood carving be decided by on the other hand the author's art cultivated manners and interests love, on the other hand is also a natural shape to be decided by the timber with the nature veins, is also a " because of material applyart".Technique of expression plentifulness of the art wood carving and regardless a space, there is long-handled sword broad ax, crude and uncivilized and emollient;There is thin extractcarve engraving, the lines is flowing freely;Have Chien the cleanto generalize, the artful uses the beauties of nature.The good art wood carving not only is the outcome of the sculptor mind hand artful , but also is also an art to decorate, beautify the environment and shape one's spirit, make the person the enjoy pleasing the eye article, so have to collect and keep the value higherly.

Similar to all engravings, the form of the wood carving can is divided into mostly two kinds of, it is" depend on type" that a kind of is a " independent type" a kind of.The former is to point to can use to come from from place, and can see so-called from any direction any angle three the circle carve of dimension space arts but speech, usually is been used as to display indoorly article or on the desks puts piece.The latter is to points to used for adornment building indoors wall or doors and windows etc.s fix to float the carve spatially but speech.It is this type of to float the carve to usually adopt high, low, lou , deeply, all etc. various skills to express.The statue calls the low floating the carve just a little and outstandingly;The statue calls the high relief very and outstandingly on the bottom;The circumference that float the carve was got empty by the lou make the statue,such as paper cutting, show the clear elephant result drive call the empty carve inlou ;The composition level of structure of the statue is many, a layer a the layer carve goes in, aparting from the last background, front the part don'ts be relational with bottom to is called to transparentize the carve again.The characteristics that transparentize the carve is main to blend every kind of the method of carve is on an appearance, is a performance many level of structures makes the stereoscopic type in tiny bow the empty engraving inlou completely, the work have the extremely keen art the result, useding for the traditional thou the building primarily the wood carving decorates the top, such as Guangdong of gold paint wood carving be feel different from every kind of pattern concentrates on an appearance, and with" it" form and the path road of the " S" form to distinguish analyse details in fish in insect in flower, animals in hair in landscape, plume in person with condition, the level of structure of louall general at 2-6 layer, carve work meticulous already nigh tooth carve , level of structure abundant, stereoscopic strong, on the narrow and small area, express the vast space.Also there is some floating the carve oneself is an independent art article, can need according to the environment the freedom installs, also belonging to the adornment wall hangs or screen etc..
The artistic method of the wood carving has three kinds of:A kind of is plank material that circle to face a cake of more common, have no what special shape wood, square wood or have the specification( namely pass by artificial silk thread go to dirty, process the timber the regularity anticipates the form, such as exact square, rectangular, circular...etc.), we can be freeer to the contents that choose the engraving and topic, then use to slice a flood ofly the pare with a knife carve digs to realizes end art result.This kind of method sees simple, but the stipulation to suffer certainly that is also a construction, because of the timber be constituted by fiber, it breaks easily the easy crack request us to emphasize the whole, firm on the artistic composition.It is general to come to speak, the art wood carving does not pay attention to put together to connect, losing the characteristic of the wood carving otherwise.Want to be on a log to do the article, have to avoid making threatening gestures of move the power, will abandon the fragmented and disorganized details.For the sake of the skin texture of the outstanding timber, express the beautiful wood grain, shape physical volume not easily too small too many, to make the big in big piece form, pursue the result between muddy however integral whole.( figure 1)
The second method is with form resemble, since" run its course" ground according to the material oneself special natural shape or veins direction, rely on the felling with think that the elephant give this piece of materials with the particular image, the artful add the carve to make its image released out then after digging.So-called seven centseses are natural, three cent engraving.This kind of method also calls" artfulcarve ", its conceive outline time that process compare actual engraving should be more, but among them of the fun is as well endless." artfulcarve " is decision factor that a kind of fit form shape, and also be it want to adapt to a certain term, this kind of term is a kind of restrict or control, also resulting in the author apparently troublesome, however usually is thing by the localization anti pour and would become to become its art characteristics, this kind of factor can to bad timber with miraculous.Jade engraving of having of so precious, be method that now of the author to measure the form gets material, because of material carry out art , creates exquisite good product.( figure 2)
The nature gives us with many materials that enlighten, owning the obvious shape in a characteristic for not usually, to your think that elephant or inspirations have to inspire directly;Have then not that obvious, need the deep consideration, bitter think the contemplation;But the wood grain of the variety is usually factor to affect the work art effective or not good again;The irregular shape in "incomplete

a broken bits" of some timbers also can cause the esse that our association of thought rises a certain image.As a result many sculptors usually collects the wood of some's" strange form in strange form" puts to put long-lastly in the circumference, often cuts and polish with fathoms, once consider the mature pickeding up to engrave the knife then, canning not but carry on.Certainly the success of the work or not usually be decided by on reading it bad," true so-called, thousand knife ten thousand dig the carve come out, a place not follow pay the east flow."      
This with make the phonic art accomplishment with art technique close related.
The third method of the wood carving artistic gets away from completely the appearance of the primitive material belongs to the sex, using the method that artificial or machine heap alternates glue match, making consumedly very small wood a wood a shape for according to design intention putting together making into mostly and thickness, then proceed the carve digs.( figure 3)The advantage of this kind of method consists in it can increase the physical volume of the wood as one's pleases, reducing the effort that slice the timber of pare with a knife consumedly, saving the big piece log.If is a " sandwich" that timber to use the different color a  glue to put together, report the wood shape, its timber outward appearance is through carve system, will present the clear and wonderful adornment wood grain, making special art in creation in work result.Some sculptors still usually any part in engraving thing increment wants the augmentative timber, they use the method that combination glue connects, toing expect the comparison that extend the wood carving with the shape.Have some the sculptor in made use of timber artistic hour more create new style, had an unique style, them sowed in garden of originally immovable engraving in tree work, have still to add a wood carving for adding the leaf, because of power a form, creates to breathe with nature together the symbiosis save art article for them.
Wood originally is to have the vital object, it bring mankind the countless advantage, but the human can give of repay should be they that kind of specially of geniality and beauty, and simple and honest quality as much as ever keeps down now, and give the new life.

Boxwood Carving

Boxwood carving, which has a history of about 900 years, is basically a kind of circular carving. Boxwood, the material, has a creamy and yellowish color, which darkens over time, giving an elegant and classic sense of aesthetic feeling. Boxwood carvings are mostly produced in Wenzhou and Leqing of East China's Zhejiang Province, as well as Shanghai Municipality and Southeast China's Fujian Province.

Based on traditional carving skills, the Shanghai boxwood carving assimilates western carving methods like dissection, inverse proportion, configuration, center of gravity and line. The works are mostly based from childhood stories and folk customs.

Making boxwood carving

The main artistic feature of boxwood carving is that all the works are made based on their original shapes, maximizing the use of the wood. Though there are many methods, the most prominent and popular way is circular carving.

The tools involved in woodcarving include a mud hammer, sculpting shelf, clay sculpture box, caliper (a kind of measurement tool), and scraper, as well as various kinds of knives. The tools used to shape the rough base include a saw, wood hammer and steel hammer, while the tools for carving are mainly chisels in various shapes like broad, flat and groove chisels.

The making process generally involves a couple of detailed procedures. First a sketch has to be made. Then the artist has to in succession sculpt the clay model, select fine wood, carve and then polish the wood, carve the grains, wax, and arrange the base. To produce boxwood carving of good quality, each of these complicated procedures has to be done very carefully.

Although usually more than one person creates the woodcarvings via a flow process, for some of the special works, only one artist completes them from the beginning to the end. Some adept artists do not need to sculpt the clay model, and rather can carve directly on the boxwood.


Concerning the origin of boxwood carving, there is a legend, which states the art form was invented by a child cowherd called Ye Chengrong, who was a local of Leqing County in Zhejiang Province.

According to the story, one day the boy is playing in a temple at the end of the village, and finds an old man carving a Buddha figure. He is immediately attracted and ties his cow to a tree. Ye finds a piece of sticky mud, and sits in front of the temple to imitate the old man. The old man is a famous local artisan; finding Ye very intelligent and fond of learning, he decides to take the child as his apprentice, and teaches him about the circular carving, clay sculpture, dyeing, gilding (gold plating) and relief.

The boy learns very fast, and a year later masters these skills. One day, while Ye is sculpting some Taoism figures, the Taoist in the temple finds a branch of boxwood and asks him to carve a hairpin. While carving the boxwood, Ye finds the nature of the wood very hard, the grains very exquisite, and the color and luster very outstanding. He deems it a very good raw material to make woodcarving, and conceives boxwood carving, a very rare and precious genre of folk art forms in China.

Introduction to boxwood

As a very precious and rare form of wood, Chinese littleleaf boxwood usually grows in virgin forests, high mountains, or precipices. The plant blossoms in winter, and seeds in spring. A saying goes that "A thousand-year-old boxwood would not be enough to make a pat", which vividly describes its slow growth. Generally speaking, a boxwood plant between the ages of 40 and 50 has a diameter of only 15 centimeters.

Boxwood was used to produce wording boards even before Homer (a classical poet in Greece during the Bronze Age from 2500 to 750BC). Seven boxwood carving masterpieces sculpted between 1736 and 1795 were collected in Beijing's Imperial Palace.

Related Links: