Burning designs on gourds is a unique handicraft, which is rarely seen today. As gourds are natural fruits, the artists must base their imagination on a concrete object, rather than from scratch.
One place you may find them is at a small shop inside the Baigong Handicraft Museum. The shop is run by an elderly couple. The husband is a master at carving gourds, while his wife is an expert at painting handkerchiefs.
Curious, I entered the shop. Inside are different sized gourds with interesting pictures displayed everywhere. As 2008 is the Year of Mouse, the model figure was a huge gourd made into a drawing of a fat mouse.
There are a variety of patterns, like various beautiful sceneries and animals. Ladybird looked appealing as well. All of them beautifully took advantage the natural shapes of different gourds.
The shop owner told me that his most popular design was called ¡°Kiss¡±. The gourd is laid on the ground, and its two spheres show a boy and a girl kissing face to face. This piece cost 580 yuan.
There¡¯s a counter which showcased hand-painted silk handkerchiefs, created by the wife. Her patterns include landscapes, characters and animals. The workmanship looked superb. Price for one small silk handkerchief was 20 yuan.
What I appreciated
Beautiful gourds, painted silk handkerchiefs, superb workmanship
What customers appreciate
Unique Chinese handicrafts
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