Beijing Craved Lacquer Ware

Known as one of the “three treasures of Chinese arts and crafts” along with Hunan embroidery and Jiangxi Jingdezhen porcelain, Bejing carved lacquer Ware is famous throughout the world for its unique techniques and detailed carvings.

Beijing lacquer

Origin

Beijing’s carved lacquer ware is one of China’s traditional arts and crafts. Originated in the Tang Dynasty (618-907), Beijing carved lacquer is a traditional form of Chinese art that has existed for at least 1,400 years. It used to be made only for the royal family.

Feature

The lacquer ware is simple and unsophisticated in shape with cinnabar luster, delicate in engraving and characterized by anti-dampness, heat-resistance, endurance of acid and alkali corrosion.

Beijing lacquer

More than thirty different kinds of goods were traditionally produced, including everyday items such as vases, plates, boxes and jars, and decorative objects such as screens.

Beijing lacquer

In the past they were made in only four colors, but the number of colors has increased to over 20 today. Older pieces are invariably monochrome, but polychrome pieces are now being produced. Nevertheless, the traditional dark red monochrome ware is still the most common.

Beijing lacquer

Carving techniques include relief and fretwork. The carving is delicate and precise, and often achieves a three-dimensional effect. Lacquer ware is prized for its lasting qualities, the result of the painstaking procedures used in its creation.

Technique

Beijing carved lacquer ware requires a complicated manufacturing process, which starts with a brass or wooden body. After preparation and polishing, it is coated with several dozen of layers of lacquer, reaching a total thickness of 5 to 18 millimeters. Engravers have to wait for the lacquer to dry naturally so it won’t crack in the future. Then, engravers will cut into the hardened lacquer, creating “carved paintings” of landscapes, human figures, flowers and birds. It is then finished by drying and polishing. The whole making process is rather complex and time consuming. It usually takes at least 6-8 months to finish a piece of carved lacquer ware. The resulting lacquer is waterproof, looks noble and elegant, and its color never fades.

Beijing lacquer

The carved lacquer has once won the prizes home and abroad for many times. It was once awarded the first prize in World Expo held in Panama in 1915 and has become reputed in the world market ever since.

However, nowadays, the ancient industry is on the brink of extinction. The complicated manufacturing process and the high production cost have resulted in the high price of the carved lacquer ware, and consequently a decreasing demand for it on the market. The Beijing carved lacquer ware industry has seen a rapid decrease since the 1980s. Young people are reluctant to learn the skills of lacquer-carving, and many elders in the business have passed away. by Xiao Xiao xiaoxiao@interactchina.com

About Interact China


“A Social Enterprise in E-commerce Promoting Oriental Aesthetic Worldwide”
We co-founded Interact China in 2004, specialize in fine Oriental Aesthetic products handmade by ethnic people and Han Chinese. With direct partnership with artisans, designers, craft masters and tailors, along with our 10 years solid experience in e-commerce via InteractChina.com, we position well to bring you direct finely selected aesthetic products sourced across China, in reliable quality and delivery, at reasonable price. We prefer individualization and personalized over standardized and automation, and will use our heart, as always, to serve ethnic artisans, cultural heritage successors, affectionate tailors and designers, as well as people who fond of and appreciate Oriental aesthetic.

So far we carry 2000+ goods covering 10 categories in Ladies Fashion, Tailor Shop, Home Furnishings, Babies & Kids, Musical Instruments, Tribal Jewelry Art, Wall Masks, Painting Arts, Textile Arts and Carving Arts. Our team speak English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and serve customers wherever they locate.

P.S. We Need People with Similar Passion to Join Our Blogging Team!
If you have passion to write about Oriental Aesthetic in Fashion, Home Decor, Art & Crafts, Culture, Music, Books, and Charity, please contact us at bloggers@interactchina.com, we would love to hear from you!

Advertisements

One thought on “Beijing Craved Lacquer Ware

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s