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How a writing brush is produced

(chinadaily.com.cn) Updated: 2016-06-20 13:51 Comments

How a writing brush is produced

A staff member at the workshop selects hair for making brush. Li Xiaoping, the founder of the workshop, says that the hair for making brush is divided into different categories according to gender, age, season, length, thickness, curvature, strength and other factors. The quality of the selected hair will directly affect the character of the writing brush. [Photo/Chinanews.com]

The "scholar's four jewels" – writing brush, ink stick, ink slab and paper – are traditional writing tools in Chinese culture and writing brush is at the top.

Wengang town in Jinxian county, Nanchang city of Jiangxi province, is regarded as the "ancient capital of Chinese writing brush" and "hometown of Chinese writing brush". It is also the hometown of Yan Shu, who is the prime minister and a poet in Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127).

Chun An Tang, a local workshop for making writing brush, showed us the whole process, which includes selecting materials, grooming, degreasing, rolling hair, removing messy hair, combing, rolling the core, tying the head and mending the pen.

The traditional way of making brush is very complicated, and the making of high-quality brush all depends on manual work, which can't be replicated by a machine.

The Wengang town has been making brush for 1,600 years, and the technique has been listed as an intangible cultural heritage of Jiangxi province.

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