Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Making of a masterpiece

Masters in jade carving are known to be able to turn a very ordinary jade boulder into an extraordinary art piece that command a very high price.

A CCTV journalist and her film crew invited a renown jade carving master to bid for an ordinary jade boulder in the jade market in Ruili (a border town in Yunnan) and turn it to a work of art and has it evaluated at a shop for its value

After searching around in the market for a while, he spotted a yellowish jade boulder that he thought he could turn it into a piece of art. He bargained very hard with the merchant and eventually got it for 1500 RMB. At this stage, he had no idea how the boulder might look like inside. He might also lose the investment if the inside of the boulder was full of flaws and cracks.

He brought the boulder back to his workshop and began thinking of a subject to carve. He did not want to carve the typical or traditional themes most masters would want to carve like Buddha, Goddess of Mercy, etc. He wanted something meaningful and extraordinary. Then he remembered he once took a photo with an old lady of the minority race in Yunnan.

He liked the pose of the old lady as she looked peaceful and calm with her palms together as if she was praying (may be she was thankful for being alive and well). He immediate had a theme that best described this old lady. It was A Grateful Heart and he had to pay particular attention to her facial expression and the hands. He immediately started work and to made a sketch on a piece of paper.

With the sketch of the old lady made, he started work on the jade boulder.


It was fortunate for him that inside the boulder was white jade of a high quality. Hence, he was able to carve out the old lady's contour and expression with ease. Don't forget, he was a master. So he had no difficulty in creating the facial expression of the lady on the boulder.

He spotted a flaw that ran along the side the boulder. As most masters were able to hide the flaw by carving something to remove the flaw. He eventually carved the traditional bag that most natives liked to carry with them. This would remove the flaw.

When the carving was completed, he went to a trader who was a specialist in making stands for jade sculptures. He had the stand also made for his carving by this trader.

When the stand was ready, it was time for him to bring the carving to a reputed shop and had it assessed by the boss. Everybody was excited as to see what the boss would say about this carving.

A grateful heart
The boss of the shop was amazed at this masterpiece. He was very please with such high standard of workmanship and the quality of the jade. The old lady appeared very peaceful and calm. The expression was vividly revealed in the carving. He immediate gave it a price of 40000 to 50000 RMB. You can work out what was the return. Don't forget he got the raw stone at a bargain price of 1500 RMB.

This story tells us that if you have the skills and creativity, you can turn very ordinary things to extraordinary works of art and make some handsome profits for yourself.

How I wish I have these skills and creativity?

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