A Chinese Woodcarver

A few weeks ago my family and I went to a festival at the Harbourfront called China Now! where we saw a few interesting things. In one pavilion, we found a group of artisans from China who created things by hand. One artisan was a man who hand carved intricate designs on wood.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014
A Chinese artisan carving. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

We were all fascinated by the delicacy of his work and were amazed at the detail he brought to his design.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014
Hands of a wood carver. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

Using his sharp tools, he carved out minute pieces of wood from the block that he was working on.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014
Tools of a wood carver. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

The lines he created were not only straight but also curved and zigzagged.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014
Work of a wood carver. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

Watching him work reminded me a little of my grandfather who used to spend hours working on wood pieces to create something unique.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014
Artisan carving a piece of wood. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

We left this Chinese artisan to his work and moved on to look at the others. As we left, I wondered how long it took this man to complete one piece.

Do you enjoy pieces carved by hand?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

(This post was inspired by the WordPress weekly photo challenge prompt: zigzag)

29 thoughts on “A Chinese Woodcarver

  1. Colline, you were with a Chinese hand carving artist…I love what they do. This past week we moved into our new home on the 24th, still did not get our furniture yet, but my wife was able to find some bedroom suits and other furniture on craigs-list. Just in time because we had guests all the way from China stay with us for week. My nineteen year old’s host family from last summer when she attended the University of Beijing in Zouhai, China, to study Mandarin, were here and it was a ‘Blast”. Her host mother, Her 19 year old daughter, and a Auntie were here and they saw so many things in Atlanta Georgia. I wish they had more time, because we could have took them to Savannah. Her host Dad, had to stay home and work, he is in the Hotel business in Zouhai! Our family always seems to get bigger and so international…the world is really such a small place. Thanks for always visiting over the last six weeks, it means a lot, God bless you my dear sister!


    1. What a treat to meet the people who looked after your daughter while she was in Zouhai. It is always such a pleasure to have visitors from different parts of the world.


  2. I would enjoy being able to watch one of these craftsmen at work, Colline, knowing full-well that I lack the talent and patience to attempt it for myself. They are a marvel, though. Hard to believe the work they produce with the tools that they use. Such skill!


  3. That man looks so focused on what he’s doing. I bet he didn’t look up that much when you passed by and took photos. It must take him days or even weeks to finish a carving like the one in his hands. He’d need good lighting to be able to do what he does, obviously, and maybe needs to sharpen his tools every now and then too. I don’t own a piece of carved wooden art but I always stop to watch them do what they do best. I don’t think they mind all the attention 🙂


    1. You are right, he did not pay any attention to us at all. I think that the fact we admire him and his work is good – hopefully it will encourage people to appreciate the time spent creating his piece – and not mind paying for it.


      1. All forms of creative art should be appreciate. Often, lots of thought goes into creative works and I am sure the carving the man is doing has some sort of story behind it. I am sure he wouldn’t have minded if you stopped him and asked him to explain a bit about the carving 🙂


  4. Nice take on the theme. There are certainly plenty of zigs and zags in that piece of artwork. So few true artisans left in the world, or perhaps it’s only in the United States where there are so few true artisans.

    You’re welcome to come visit my late take on zigzag: http://wp.me/p255bn-ei


    1. The livelihood of the artisans, I believe, has been taken away from the machines in factories that churn out goods at a cheaper price. Hopefully the tide will turn and people will come to appreciate that which is handmade – and be prepared to pay a fair price for it.


      1. I support your opinion 100%. Fast-fast-fast! That’s today’s socieity. Practically no one knows how to support themselves without getting everything they need from someone else. What happens if/when we no longer have those resources, say, from an economic collapse or a EMP? We’re toast!


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