Edit Blog Post
Published: April 18th 2013
At the back of the set my teacher is holding the ink stone/stick. The little white pot is for the water and the grey flatter dish is where the ink is mixed with the water. The two pieces of marble are the stampers used by the calligrapher to sign their work.
The next day I met Dennis at 9.15am ready to take me to my calligraphy lesson. I was the only one who had decided to take up this option, the others preferring to find some early morning coffee! It also turned out to be the only person having a calligraphy lesson and so sat in the open shop front with beautiful calligraphy paintings and writing hanging all round the walls.
It was so still and quiet I really felt so calmed and relaxed and able to concentrate on what I was doing. First I was shown the calligraphy set that all Chinese calligraphers own. It consists of an ink stone/stick with golden dragon filigree work holding it together, a little pot of water that is poured into a shallow dish where the ink stick is rubbed in the water to create the ink. The set also has brushes, background wash is created using the sheeps hair brushes and more delicate, finer detail is achieve using wolf's hair brushes. Last, but by no means least, is the calligraphers personal stamper for signing off their work.
We then get started by dipping calligraphy brushes into some ready prepared ink and wiping
Calligraphy practice grids
Having a go at the numbers 1 to 6.
off excess ink to get the end into a fine point. We start by using a chart or grid to form the Chinese numbers from one to ten. Each row starts with a numbered sequence of strokes to make. Each line is started in the opposite direction to the main stoke in order to create the kind of blocked off ends , then the main line is made in the opposite direction, usually then finishing off the line with a backwards stroke to create another blocked off end. Sometimes however the line ends with a tapered point. It was very difficult getting used to holding a brush upright kind of like the way you use chopsticks only vertically.
一 1 ee 二 2 er 三 3 san 四 4 ssseu 五 5 oo
六 6 layoh 六 7 tee 八 8 bah 九 9 joe 十 10 shrr
Once I had mastered the numbers we moved onto the Chinese character for person, then big (which just adds a horizontal line to the person character), then adding a further horizontal lines changes the word to sky. We also have a go at wood, then two of this character
together to make tree and three together to make forest!
人 person 大 big 天 sky 木 wood 林 tree 森 forest
Finally I found my name in a large book and had a go at doing this much more complicated set of two characters.
A family joined me half way through and my teacher showed the little girls how to use the calligraphy brushes to paint willow trees and giant pandas.
During my lesson it had rained pretty heavily and the streets outside were waterlogged so I had to pick my way through and around huge puddles on my walk back to the hotel. I stopped off at a supermarket to pick up a few supplies and found the rest of my group had also had the same idea. While I was waiting to get my bananas weighed I experienced the queue jumping elbow shove by an old lady getting something else weighed out as she barged her way in front of me and stuck her bags on the scales.
Me and Renee also picked up a couple of poncho raingear affairs in case it rained while we were out on
our cycle ride. Mine was pretty sturdy in blue and I reckoned would make a great present for my daughter Poppy when I got home. She loves weird, cycling rain-gear and doesn't care what she looks like as long as she's dry! Renee's however was really cheap plastic which, when she tried it on, looked like a massive, lurid, yellow bin-bag! We modeled our lovely new rain-gear to great hilarity in our room and hoped this would be the only time we had to actually wear them!
Aside: Every morning a van went by our hotel in the street below our window with a loud speaker message booming out. We eventually remembered to ask what they were saying and it was actually a reminder to shop keepers to keep the main streets clear, to not over charge tourists and to keep the city clean!
Tot: 0.079s; Tpl: 0.045s; cc: 11; qc: 24; dbt: 0.012s; 1; m:saturn w:www (126.96.36.199); sld: 2;
; mem: 1.2mb