Carved Black Lacquer Box
The Carved Black Lacquer Box Adopted The Technique Of Lacquer Carving.
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Carved Black Lacquer Box, made by Zhang Cheng of the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368), is a representative of carved Lacquer ware of that period. The Lacquer box is six cm high and about 14.5 cm wide. It resembles an arched roof and its body is shaped like a column.
The box adopted the technique of Lacquer carving. The box was first painted with black Lacquer over 100 times to form a color layer; then it was painted with several times with red lacquer. This process was repeated over and over again until the Lacquer layers attained the necessary thickness. An artisan then Carved the box with cloud patterns in alternating red and Black layers of Lacquer until three red lines appeared. The box has three groups of cloud patterns on its cover and body. It is now preserved at the Anhui Provincial Museum. The work is of primitive simplicity and full of elegance, demonstrating a very high artistic value and representing the highest level of China's Lacquer carving technique.
Chinese carved Lacquer probably dates back to the Tang Dynasty (618-907). As noted in the Treatise on Lacquer Decoration by an artisan of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), Tang Lacquer ware was done on smooth boards using a vermilion color. ¡ Special Lacquer ware workshops were set up in the Ming, producing pieces distinguished for their bold, simple lines and rich colors. Works of the Qing (1644-1911), on the other hand, are known for their detailed designs and elaborate composition.
The Jingzhai Workshop, established in 1901 in Beijing, operated according to the Qing style for many years. Over the past 40 years or so the craftsmen there have begun experimenting with deep relief carvings and hollowing and three-dimensional techniques. More than 20 colors are now used -- a great change from the traditional four. A handful of factories in the Beijing area, with a combined work force of 20,000, produce carved Lacquer ware -- both traditional items like jars, boxes writing articles, dishes and personal adornments, as well as prize-winning artistic creations.
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