Village Crafts

One of the uniting factors across the world is the desire to create beauty.  In all countries and across all times we have found ways of creating some form of art, some form of beauty that inspires.

In many villages in China, these art forms have been expanded into commercial crafts, although still on a local rather than industrial scale.

In Liuyang Village, outside Xi’an, the villagers have specialised in creating ceramic sculptures, usually the animals from the Chinese zodiac, highly decorated and gloriously eccentric.

Each step in the process is carefully managed, and the loveliest pieces can take weeks to prepare.  Layers of slurry are built up, sanded down, smoothed and coated in whitewash, waiting for the delicate hand painting of the stylized patterns.  The concentration needed not to have a tiny hand shake or line wobble is intense.

If we lose these village crafts, or they are created in industrial scales, we may retain some of the traditional designs, but we will lose the creativity and depth of care that makes a craft into an artform.

 

Posted by DeborahH

1 comment

Great blog, Deb. You’ve inspired me to do some work on mine.

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