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With nearly 300 years of history, Fujian lacquer thread sculpture attracts collectors and regular people with its uniquely honed technique. And I had the pleasure to see a master of this fantastic art in his studio at the Bai Gong Fang Handicraft museum.
As I entered the studio, which was simply called Lacquer Thread Sculpture, I was stunned by the sight before me. Each piece of lacquer ware was covered with layers of thin golden thread, weaved into beautiful patterns. And none was more beautiful than the image of the Dragon and the Phoenix twisting vividly on the cover of dishes and pots.
So how do they make these wonderful sculptures? Mr. Zhou, the owner, patiently explained it to me. He uses the resin of lacquer trees and mixes it together with brick powder and tung oil. Then he twists the mixture into threads, some as thin as a hair. The application of the thread onto the lacquer ware requires dozens of procedures, including stripping, coiling, piling, and carving. Finally, the surface is covered with pure gold foil, in order to retain the original shine.
Prices of the items in the shop vary a lot. A small plate may cost only RMB 100. Big pieces with delicate threads can cost around RMB 2000.
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