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Famous Books on Industrial Arts

 

Kao Gong Jiis the first important book recording the official handcraft industry and technical standard in ancient China. It is a detailed record of the major handicraft industry in the last part of the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476BC). This oldest known writing that discusses Chinese traditional crafts and artisans includes a passage on artifact restoration. With more than 7,100 characters, it records 30 types of work in six categories, namely carpentry, metalworking, leather, dyeing, scraping and pottery, reflecting the technology and craftsmanship of that time in China. In addition, the book also sums up knowledge and experience of mathematics, geography, mechanics, acoustics, architectonics and so on.

Gu Yu Tu Pu, a book about crafts of jade articles, was written by Long Dayuan of the Song Dynasty (960-1279). It was the oldest monograph of jade articles. The book has 100 volumes with 700 pictures in it and it recorded all jade articles kept in the palace during the reign of Emperor Gaozong (1127-1163) of the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279). Jade articles recorded in the book covered many daily articles besides articles used in various ceremonies. The book is one of the most important ones for the study of Chinese ancient jade articles.

Shu Jin Puwas compiled by Fei Zhu of the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) and it is a book on the brocade of Chengdu in Sichuan in that period, being of great value to the research into the history of Sichuan brocade and the decorative patterns of Sichuan brocade in the Song Dynasty (960-1279).

Xiu Shi Luwas the work of famous lacquer worker Huang Cheng. The whole book has 18 chapters and its contents cover lacquer making equipment, related skills, decoration methods of lacquer wares and so on. It is a masterpiece that summarized experience of lacquer making craft in ancient China.

Tian Gong Kai Wu(The Exploitation of the Works of Nature) was written by Song Yingxing, a great scientist in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). The book has helped boost the development of agriculture and handicraft industry greatly at that time. The book has 18 volumes, covering agriculture, textile, dyeing, grain processing, sugar making, ceramics, metallurgy, shipbuilding and so on. It is now popular in many countries in different languages.

Xiu Pu(Treatise on Embroidery), written by Ding Pei of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), is a book about embroidery. The book was divided into six chapters and summed up seven elements of embroidery, including neatness, splendor, straightness, evenness, thinness, orderliness and density.

Tao Shuo(Discussion of Pottery), written by Zhu Yan in the Qing Dynasty, was first block-printed in 1774 and later several different block-printed editions emerged.Tao Shuohas six volumes, and recorded development of pottery crafts in different periods, providing important reference to the research into the development of Chinese porcelain making.

Zhuren Lu(Biographies of Bamboo Artists) was written by Jin Yuanlu in the Jiaqing period (1796-1820) of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). The author classified carvers according to where they lived. He began the practice of distinguishing the Jiading and Jinling Schools and distinguished works from these two locales in Jiangsu province by differentiating pieces with high relief carvings from those with simple, shallow carving.Zhu Ren Luis helpful in identifying about one hundred bamboo carvers from the latter part of the Qing Dynasty (1796-1911).

Si Xiu Bi Ji(Notes on Silk Embroidery), written by Zhu Qiqian, gave textual explanations of ancient silk fabrics. The book has two volumes and its materials mainly came from related notes by intellectuals, historical documents and local records of different periods.

 
 
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