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Ancient crafts, modern world

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail CRI, November 18, 2011
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This is Zhang Qingjie. In the city of Wuhu in Anhui Province, He makes a special kind of artwork, known in Chinese as tiehua, or Iron Paintings. From afar, you can understand the name. But up close, you can see they are not paintings at all.

According to local legend, a traveling blacksmith named Tang Tianchi invented the wrought iron picture technique when a painter that he admired teased him by saying, "You will never make paintings by beating iron!"

But with the rapidly changing economy in modern China, this art form could soon become a lost treasure of the past.

Iron Painting isn't the only ancient craft in Anhui Province.

A few hours by bus will take you to a small workshop in a town called Xuancheng that makes paper the old-fashioned way. The Chinese people invented paper. This kind of paper is called xuanzhi.

First, tree bark and stems are dried on the hills that surround the workshop at the hills' foot. This will later be separated by quality and grade - only the best bark will be chosen.

Second, pulp is made by pulverizing tree bark with large, wooden hammers. Tree bark is beaten repeatedly until it is broken down into a moldable base with which to make the paper.

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