- Xiantao shell carving
Xiantao shell carving is a signature craft originating from Hubei.
Xiantao shell carvings are made of shells from Shahu Lake. The carvings are created with careful design, carving, grinding, assembling, inlaying and decorating with artistic influences from Chinese paintings and other traditional arts.
The products are classified into more than 100 categories, such as: flowers and birds, human figures, landscape, ancient buildings, and curios. There are thousands of designs and patterns. With its rich and colorful images, clear-cut style, local influences, profound cultural connotations, perfect fusion of sound, music, lighting and decoration, and high ornamental and practical value, shell carvings are popular in China and abroad and are sold to more than 50 countries in Western Europe, North America, Middle East and Southeast Asia.
There are different types of shells. They may be as big as a dustpan and as small as a rice grain and come in many shapes and colors. A shell may be ground into different layers of colors, lending itself to a variety of styles and subject matters including birds and flowers, human figures, landscape, and still objects. The products are simple, elegant, shiny and decorative. Products include wine and smoking sets, stationery, desk lamps, hairpins, vases, fish tanks, necklaces, jewel cases and other practical art and craft products. Through the process of cutting, splicing and binding, shells may also be made into shell carving pictures. Shell carvings are also popular as souvenirs.
Xiantao shell carving has won the Jade Medal Award – the highest prize for souvenirs at the First Beijing International Travel Fair, the Hundred Flowers Award at the Fifth China Art & Craft Expo, Tianma Gold Prize at the First China Tourism and Shopping Festival, and a silver prize at the Second Beijing International Expo. It is recorded in the Contemporary History of Chinese Arts and Crafts, Dictionary of Chinese Arts and Crafts, Pandect of Chinese Light Industry Product, and other reference books and picture albums.
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