Nine years ago, in 1999, Wang earned his place in the Guiness Books of Records -- thanks to the diversity and number of his gourd creations. The 45 pieces that earned him his place in Guinness, each boasts a different look. He'd always believed gourds are beautiful plants. He wanted to give them more meaning. His love for the plant is root in his childhood.
Wang Xuezhe, gourd artifacts maker said, "My father liked gourds very much. When I was a kid, he planted gourds all over the yard of our home. In my hometown, gourds are believed to cure disease, ward off evil and invite wealth. So I've had a deep attachment to gourds since childhood.”
But the launch of Wang's series owes to his wife. In 1997, Wang retired from his career. He went to work on some souvenirs his wife brought back from a trip.
Wu Suying, Wang Xuezhe's wife said, "I know he likes gourds very much. Once I went to Beidaihe. In the courtyard of the sanatorium where I lived, there were many, fully grown gourds hanging on the trellis. So I picked out some and brought them back. He was very happy. Then he came up with the idea of making crafts from them. I didn't expect he would finally achieve something with them, even making the Guinness Book."
Before retirement, Wang was the party committee secretary at a factory, in his hometown: Jiang Xian county of Shanxi province. He was an admired cadre for his wisdom in handling complex issues and for his talents in calligraphy, painting and photography. His calligraphy won the gold medal at a nationwide folk artifacts and calligraphy competition. The competition was organized by the China Association of Literary and Art Circle. He also won the third prize in a province wide photography competition.
Talent helped Wang to make something new. With no previous experience, Wang set about, working by himself when other members of his family were at work. He began looking out for additional materials to add to his creations. He drew inspiration from a television program featuring craftsmen with unusual skills. He set about to make his creations distinctive and to give them as much diversity as his imagination could muster.