In our series on the Intangible Cultural Heritage exhibition in Beijing, we turn our attention today to an ordinary utensil found in every household-- scissors. The forging techniques of Zhang Xiaoquan scissors, famous since 17th century, has embodied culture and exquisite craftsmanship.
The forging techniques of Zhang Xiaoquan scissors, famous since 17th century, has embodied culture and exquisite craftsmanship. Let's find out more.
Curious visitors are gathering at the table of Wang Jianlin, who has inherited the skill of crafting Zhang Xiaoquan Scissors. He is carving the names and pictures of wildlife on the surface of the scissors just purchased by the queuing crowd.
In less than three minutes, a feisty ox has come to life, after several deft turns by the engraver.
Crafesman Wang Jianlin said, "I was not born left-handed. But I learnt to carve with my left hand when I was an apprentice thirty years ago. It's easier to handle the craft when I use my left hand."
The crafting of Zhang Xiaoquan Scissors began in 1663. Making Zhang Xiaoquan Scissors involved as many as 72 processes. The most formidable step of all is to set a piece of steel in wrought iron, to be hammered repeatedly, and ground with mud bricks to become a sharp edge.