Chinese stone seal carving appreciation
In the Shang dynasty (around 3,600 years ago) seals started being used in the government offices, where they represented authority and power. During the Shang and Zhou dynasties the materials for seal making were mainly animal bone, copper (bronze), and pottery. There were specially trained, sophisticated artisans or craftsmen, including potters who specialized in this work, making seals. Because seals in this period were mainly used in governments and mainly by nobles and officials, the style of seals was very formal and beautiful. In the Shang dynasty, the oracle bone script (甲骨文) was used. During the Zhou period various scripts were used (during that time Chinese characters were still not unified), but mainly the dazhuan (大篆) or jinwen (金文) scripts were used.
In the Qin dynasty the more regular and formal seal script called xiaozhuan (小篆) was formalized by the Emperor Qinshihuang, thus the written script of Chinese characters was unified for the first time. Due to the development of Chinese architecture, seals of this period were also widely used in building materials,
In the Song dynasty scholar-artists flourished and seal making became popular. Since that era, soft stone has been widely used in seal cutting.
Today let’s look at some carving works from Steven Fang Yucheng:
If you are interested to make a seal for yourself, you can order it online via: https://www.artist.com.sg/product/chinese-seal-carving-service/