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Jade Carving
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       Jade Ware
It is acknowledged by the world that jade carving (yù diāo 玉雕) is one of the oldest carving arts in China. Crude jade tools appeared in China as early as in the late Neolithic Age (xīn shí qì shí dài 新石器时代). And in the primitive society, our ancestries began to make manufacturing jade tools such as knife, shovel, ax and lance and the jade ornaments. Jade carving became an industry in the Shang (shāng 商) (16th century BC- 11th century BC) and Zhou (zhōu 周) (11th BC- 221 BC) dynasties, when skills of jade carving had a further development. Jade wares were used in rituals or as decorative pendants. The jade carving wares were delicate and the ornamental patterns were elegant. In ancient China, jade was also regarded as a symbol of refinement and moral ethics.  

Jade WareJade is a high-quality stone and has a good many variants. There are white jade, yellow jade, jasper, jadeite, agate, turquoise, etc. Jade carving refers to the process to carve a piece of jade into a fine article of art. A caraving artist has to thoroughly examine a piece of jade, cudgel his brains to make a design according to its natural colors and shape, and turn it into an artistic work.

Jade can be carved into human figures, containers, images of birds, animals flowers as well as small things like a brooch, ring, seal or decorative object. What is worth mentioning is the huge jade carving in the Palace Museum in Beijing (běi jīng gù gōng bó wù yuàn 北京故宫博物院). It is called “Da Yu Harnessed Flood” (dà yǔ zhì shuǐ 大禹治水), which is 224 cm in height, 96 cm in width, and about 5300 kg in weight. It demonstrated the high skill of Chinese carving artists.

Da Yu Harnessed FloodThe main producing area of jade wares are Beijing (běi jīng 北京), Shanghai (shàng hǎi 上海), Guangzhou (guǎng zhōu 广州), Liaoning (liáo níng 辽宁), Jiangsu (jiāng sū 江苏), Xinjiang (xīn jiāng 新疆), etc.. Chinese jade carving works enjoy a high reputation in the world.

玉雕
      玉雕是中国最古老的雕刻品种之一。早在新石器时代晚期,中华民族就有了玉制工具。商周时期,制玉成为一种专业,玉器成了礼仪用具和装饰佩件。玉石历来被人们当作珍宝,在中国古代,玉被当作美好品物的标志和君子风范的象征。

  玉,实际是优质的石。玉石的种类非常多,有白玉、黄玉、碧玉、翡翠及玛瑙、绿松石、芙蓉石等。玉石经加工雕琢成为精美的工艺品,称为玉雕。工艺师在制作过程中,根据不同玉料的天然颜色和自然形状,经过精心设计、反复琢磨,才能把玉石雕制成精美的工艺品。
 
Jade Ware      我国玉雕工艺,源远流长,为世所公认。早在原始社会阶段,我们的祖先就用玉石制作成像镞、矛、刀、斧、铲等一类生产工具和各式各样的玉雕装饰品,如1973年发现的浙江余姚河姆渡新石器时代遗址,其中28件用玉料和莹石制作璜、管、珠一类的装饰品,距今已有七千年的历史。 在奴隶社会,即商周时期,玉雕工艺又有了新的进展,琢磨精细,纹饰优美,并新出现有鱼、龟、鸟、兽面、兔、蚕等形象的玉雕佩饰。常见的纹饰有夔龙纹、蟠螭纹、云雷纹、窃曲纹、方格纹等,特别是当时玉雕阳文线条的出现,是技法处理上的一大飞跃。

      玉雕的品种很多,主要有人物、器具、鸟兽、花卉等大件作品,也有别针、戒指、印章、饰物等小件作品。北京的故宫博物院中收藏的大型玉雕"大禹治水",就显示了中国玉雕的高超技艺。
中国的玉雕作品在世界上享有很高的声誉。

 

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