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Chengdu Lacquer Ware

Chengdu Lacquer Ware
    Chengdu lacquer ware is famous for its durability against corrosion and aging. The Colorful and vibrant designs featured on many pieces are applauded throughout the world. Most lacquer works produced within Sichuan are created in Chengdu. The reflective and smooth finishing of lacquer has helped create a name for Chengdu lacquer in the international arts and crafts community. It has been rightfully acclaimed as one of the unique traditional and cultural heritages of China.
    Chengdu lacquer ware has been perfect by local craftsmen for approximately three thousand years. It first originated in the Warring State Period (475-221 BC) when Sichuan was classed as the centre of lacquer ware production. Chengdu was given the honored title the capital of Chinese lacquer.
    It became widely used for household items and luxurious furniture in the Qin(221-206BC) and Han (206 BC-220 AD) Dynasties and the skills to produce Chengdu lacquer were far more advanced than in many other areas within the world.
    During the Ming (1644-1912) Dynasties, Chengdu was regarded as the main place for carved lacquer ware featuring the decorative technique of color filling. Streets such as Kejia lane and Xiaokejia lane specialized in the production of Chengdu lacquer ware and had many workshops dominating the thriving area..Many other lacquer ware styles within China have been influenced by the techniques of Chengdu lacquer ware.
    The techniques and designs used in Chengdu lacquer ware are quite different compared to many other provinces. Bases can be made from wood, paper or bamboo. Blue and Green are grated into a powder and added to water to create a protective lacquer for the base. A design is sketched onto the base and then carves out by the craftsman and filled with colored lacquer. An ox horn knife is the main tool used for filling. Many layers of halogen lacquer are then added. The finished product is polished by hair or cotton with vegetable oil.
    Patterns and decorations reflect the traditions of the Chengdu region and feature images such as animals, plants and supernatural beings. The varnish protects the decorations for many years leaving images as fresh and vibrant as the day they were created. Chengdu lacquer ware has recently been uncovered in pristine condition from two thousand year old tombs from the Warring States Period proving the veracity and durability of Chengdu lacquer.
    The transparent and reflective nature of the lacquer illuminates the bright and joyous colors used on lacquered vases, screen doors, jewelry boxes and many more ornaments. Many foreign tourists travel to Chengdu each year to purchase the famous craft.
    Chengdu craftsmen are admired throughout the world for their professional and elaborate talents in lacquer ware. It is becoming increasingly popular to view Chengdu lacquer ware in homes throughout the world as many people are becoming aware of the cultural and aesthetic value of this type of craft.

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