Sunday, 11 August 2013

T29 - Arts and Crafts

Arts and Crafts are industrial arts.  They fall into two main categories: pragmatic wares in daily use and ornaments for display. 

Different styles of arts and crafts developed because of difference in historical pasts, geographical environment, economic conditions, traditional culture, technological levels, tribal customs and aesthetic viewpoints.  Chinese arts and crafts, which have a long history, show different varieties and many distinct folk characteristics.

Arts and crafts utilize various and extensive raw materials including bamboo, straws, wood, cloth, mud and paper; and to some special and valuable materials like ivory, jade, gold and silver.  The main products could be made carved, woven, embroidered articles, pottery and lacquered ware.  Within each sub category, there are also numerous specifications.   
In conjunction with the National Arts and Crafts Exhibition at the Art Museum, the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications of PRC selected 10 representative pieces of arts and crafts as the design and released a set of ten stamps on August 26, 1978.
(10-1) 4 fen, Giant lion (cloth toy)  大狮子 (布玩具)
(10-2) 8 fen, Pot in shape of a three-legged sheep (pottery)  三脚羊提壶 (陶器)
(10-3) 8 fen, Rhinoceros (lacquer ware)  犀牛 (漆器)
(10-4) 10 fen, Kitten' s head (embroidery)  小猫头 (刺绣)
(10-5) 20 fen, Green flowers basket (weave)  绿花提篮 (编织)
(10-6) 30 fen, Pot in shape of a peacock (cloisonne)  孔雀壶 (景泰蓝)
(10-7) 40 fen, Round plate with lotus design and black swan shaped box (lacquer ware)
                           荷花圆盘、黑天鹅盒 (漆器)
(10-8) 50 fen, Dragon flying in the sky (wood carving)  飞跃 (木雕)
(10-9) 60 fen, The rising sun in the eastern sky (jade craving)  旭日东升 (玉雕)
(10-10) 70 fen, Flying to the human world (ivory carving)  奔向人间 (牙雕)

(10-1)【Giant lion (cloth toy)】 The design of the lion is exaggerated.   Wide open eyes in its huge head make it look as courageous, lively and robust.   The contrast between the lion and the cute little chicken on the bottom right makes the art design more interesting and meaningful.   The bright red colour background adds some warm and active tone to the stamp.

(10-2)【Pot in shape of a three-legged sheep (pottery)】Pottery is made of sticky clay (sometimes with addition of quartz).   The production process includes modeling, drying and baking (sometimes glazed).   The bright, tender, plump and smooth kettle is a combination of application and appreciation.   The sheep is designed uninhibited and lively; looking mild and obedient.   Lastly, it was displayed on a piece of green paper, symbolising the endless grassland.

(10-3)【Rhinoceros (lacquer ware)】 Lacquer ware is one of the major categories of arts and crafts in China.  Since the earliest lacquer ware, many creations in terms of design, grain, application and techniques have emerged.  Lacquer ware has been sold widely in many parts of the world.   The Lacquer ware Rhinoceros is an imitation of the Gold and Silver Grained Bronze Rhinoceros in the Warring States Period.   It looks solid, thick, strong and powerful as if it contained endless energy.   Its pose is very lifelike while its dark green body is as smooth as a mirror.   Lastly, the dark coloured background makes the bright rhinoceros more impressive, adding a kind of artistic effect to the stamp.

(10-4)【Kitten' s head (embroidery)】The recorded Chinese embroidery history dated back to 4,000 years ago.  The flowers and patterns on embroidery are formed through the movement of needles.  Su embroidery (Suzhou), Xiang embroidery (Hunan), Shu embroidery (Sichuan) and Guang embroidery (Guangdong) are regarded as "the four famous embroideries".  Each of which has its own strong points and varieties in both colour and design.   Besides these famous four, there are many other kinds of embroideries, including the minority tribes.  This workpiece called little kitty's head is Su embroidery.   The lovely looking kitty looks so lively - its soft and sheen hair, its red tender nose and bright eyes.

(10-5)【Green flowers basket (weave)】China has a weaving history of more than 7,000 years.  These artificial products are exquisite in designs and extraordinary in techniques. The products can be classified into six categories on the basis of raw materials used - straw weaving, bamboo weaving, willow weaving, rattan weaving, palm and palm leaves weaving.  The products range from baskets, plates, hats, shoes, mats, toys and bags.   Some products are made for practical use while others are just for appreciation.
(10-6)【Pot in shape of a peacock (cloisonne)】 The delicately and complicatedly made cloisonne enamel is one of traditional Chinese arts and crafts.   It is magnificent in design;  beautiful in pattern and colour;  complicated in making.  Peacock pot is an exaggerated artistic work based on a peacock model.   The pot mouth is the head and neck of the peacock; the pot body is a pair of peacocks in ribbon shaped with beautiful plume textures, which contain scale-shaped traditional texture and modern plume texture.   The coral red colour of the pot is complimented by blue, green and golden yellow colours.

(10-7)【Round plate with lotus design and black swan shaped box (lacquer ware)】 The lotus circular plate is made in the traditional technique: embossed lacquer.   The design on the plate is beautiful, lively, multidimensional, crystal clean, with the beauty of relief sculpture.   The flower looks more beautiful with the green lotus leaves at the background.    The variation of brightness and dark shade of green colour makes the lotus look more lovely and bright.   The black swan shaped box compliment the design, as though a swan swim beside a lotus. 

(10-8)【Dragon flying in the sky (wood carving)】Wood, jade and ivory carvings are three traditional carving arts.  Wood craving can be used for building or furniture decoration or finishing.  Types of craving include bas-relief (浮雕), cavo-relievo (沉雕), intaglio (通雕) and circular carving (圆雕), etc.

(10-9)【The rising sun in the eastern sky (jade craving)】 This jade carving made full use of natural pretty colour of agate.   The blue and green part of agate is carved into splashing waves on the surface of the sea.   The existing transparent red ball in the jade formed the wonderful picture of rising red sun out of the sea.   The light orange red colour in the jade and the light green and blue colour of the background look like morning sky.   This elaborate rare piece of art is considered as a masterpiece worthy of being handed down to later generations.

(10-10)【Flying to the human world (ivory carving)】This marvellous workpiece combines the techniques of engraving balls and those of carving figures.  A complete piece of ivory is used in making this product.   With 41 layers, this special workpiece can spin easily because all other layers are engraved hollow except the outside layers, which are surrounded by "Ruyi" (S-Shaped ornamental objects) shaped in auspicious clouds.   The fairy maidens yearn for human world, waving their sleeves in the air.   They look so real and so lively.   This workpiece shows the superb craftsmanship of Chinese ivory carving.

T29 – Arts and Crafts  工艺美术
Issue Date: 1978.8.26
Serial Number:T29
Scott Number:1423-1432
Michel Number:1433-1442
Number of stamps in Set:10
Denomination:4 fen for stamp 1
8 fen for stamp 2, 3
10 fen for stamp 4
20 fen for stamp 5
30 fen for stamp 6
40 fen for stamp 7
50 fen for stamp 8
60 fen for stamp 9
70 fen for stamp 10
Quantity of Issue:25,000,000 fen for stamp 1, 2, 3
15,000,000 fen for stamp 4
500,000 fen for stamp 5
250,000 fen for stamp 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
Perforation:P11 X 11½ for stamp 1, 3, 5, 7, 9
P11½ X 11 for stamp 2, 4, 6, 8, 10
Sheet Composition:50 (5 X 10) for stamp 1, 3, 5, 7, 9
50 (10 X 5) for stamp 2, 4, 6, 8, 10
Size of stamps:40 X 30 mm for stamp 1, 3, 5, 7, 9
30 X 40 mm for stamp 2, 4, 6, 8, 10
Designer:Deng Xiqing 邓锡清
Printing Process:Photogravure
Printing House:Beijing Postage Stamp Printing Works

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