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hello from an englishman carving jade in china


andrew S

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Hi there. I am a recent member. This is my first post to introduce myself. I from London but moved to China three years ago to learn how to carve jade. Jade is my passion and the simple idea of learning to carve in the heartland of the stone of heaven seemed simple enough. It didn't turn out that way. I have been studying chinese at university here for two years as well. The only way I could be accepted into a traditional jade carving community was to learn to speak the language as mnot one of the 200 or so jade carvers has more than a smattering of english. So I can now converse quite freely in chinese on the subject of carving jade but don't have the vocabulary to do so in English. Go figure. I am going to New Zealand for a week in January to see how its done there during the university holiday. My carving so far is pretty basic. The tools we use are very rudimentary. I don't even know their english names. Here is a piece I am in the middle of carving. Every carving in China has a meaning. This one is a play on words. Si Ji Dou You Qian. Si Ji Dou is a type of bean but it also means the Four seasons of Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. You Qian means "have money". So the meaning of a carving of beans with a string of chinese coins on top is the wish that you will have money all year round. A nice thought.( I have added the photo as an attachment as i cant remember where to find the url.)

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Hello Andrew,

 

You have made a tremendous commitment to learn about both jade carving and Chinese language! What is also remarkable is that you are learning about the cultural heritage and meaning of each composition or subject.

 

Posting photos, or attaching them, directly on the forum is a good idea, since remote storage makes the images vulnerable if anything changes, as in, the photos would no longer be available for viewing on the forum.

 

Welcome! Thank you for introducing yourself.

 

Janel

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Kia ora Andrew.

 

I certainly admire you're dedication. Good luck with your path.

 

I'm a stone and bone carver in New Zealand and have been carving jade only this year, but I've found it a wonderful medium to add to my repertoire.

 

Good luck with your journey to NZ. If you have a chance to meet with Lewis Gardiner in Rotorua, I'd highly recommend it. He is the resident pounamu carver at Te Puia.

 

Kia ora, Billy.

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thanks for the encouragement and the information. i certainly want to spend a couple of days with someone who carves jade in NZ just to get a different perspective. I shall look lewis gardiner up. good luck with the carving and if you want to have a look at the way I carve you could visit my website at jadefiend.com. i am not trying to sell anything just spread the word :)

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Hey Andrew. Cool website. Very informative. Thank you for sharing. If you're ever in Wellington, you're more than welcome to visit my workshop. I pretty much carve the same way as most NZ stone carvers, with little tricks and techniques you learn along the way. :)

 

You can see some of my other work at www.rongomau.co.nz (Artist - Gareth Barlow)

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hei Andrew, welcome to meet strange people with an addict to jade or other stones or even more disgusting items! It's good to have here someone who is really connected with jade carving in the actual place. Have to say that my fever is not strong enough for learning to speak chinese, but perhaps the Force is not so strong with me. Have to admire you, you will go very fare in carving jade with that attitude! Send pictures of tools and how it's done (carving) if they are not secrets of the trade, in which case you don't. Lauri

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