Making sculptures out of clay

11:13, June 22, 2010      

Email | Print | Subscribe | Comments | Forum 


Bo Ziyang adds color to one of his clay figures. Over the past 50 years, he has made sculptures out of clay collected from the Yellow River.(Source: China Daily)

An elderly man holding a chunk of clay and a chisel is concentrating hard in his 20-square-meter workshop. A character from the Outlaws of the Marsh, one of the four most famous classical works of Chinese literature, slowly begins to take shape.

Bo Ziyang, 68, of Jinan, Shandong province, has spent the past 50 years making sculptures out of clay collected from the Yellow River.

Before starting a piece of work, he always finds representative photos of the characters he sculpts, reads about them and then chooses the appropriate clay.

"All of the clay sculptures I have created are made of Yellow River clay. The river that has given birth to the Chinese is also my creative source," Bo says.

But it is not easy to find Yellow River clay suited to sculpting. Only clay that is highly sticky and contains no sand can be used. For the past 50 years, Bo's quest for the right clay has seen him going to the river bank religiously every week.

"The moment I find satisfactory clay is my happiest moment. The clay gives soul to the sculptures," Bo says.

Once the clay is chosen, the next steps involve its shaping, polishing and airing, before the adding of color.

This calls for particular care, as the process requires great patience and perseverance.

"Adding color contributes 70 percent to a good clay sculpture," Bo says.

His hands have so far shaped figures from A Dream of Red Mansions, The Outlaws of the Marsh and prominent figures from Chinese history.

In 1997, when Hong Kong returned to the motherland, Bo came up with clay sculptures of 88 Chinese celebrities including late Chairman Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping.

Bo spent three months, putting in at least 15 hours every day, making these sculptures. "Nothing makes me more happy than shaping clay," Bo says.
【1】 【2】

(Editor:梁军)

  • Do you have anything to say?

双语词典
dictionary

  
Special Coverage
  • Premier Wen Jiabao visits Hungary, Britain, Germany
  • From drought to floods
Major headlines
Editor's Pick
  • Jewish worshippers pray at the Western Wall, Judaism's holiest prayer site, in Jerusalem's Old City on Sept. 28, 2011, ahead of Rosh Hashanah, the two-day Jewish new year which will begin at sunset on Sept. 28 and conclude at nightfall on Sept. 30. (Xinhua/Muammar Awad)
  • High school student Johanna Choapa is helped by her father after announcing the end of hunger strike in Santiago, capital of Chile, on Sept. 28, 2011. The end of the strike took place to make way for a dialogue with the government, seeking to resolve the four-month crisis in the education sector. (Xinhua/Jorge Villegas)
  • Passengers wait for help after a coach skidded of an icy road in Xinghai county, Northwest China's Ningxia Hui autonomous region, Sept 28, 2011. The accident occurred at an altitude of 4,400 meters Wednesday morning and has trapped 41 passengers in the snow covered area. The coach was travelling from Xining city to Yushu county in Qinghai. (Photo/Xinhua)
  • A doctor takes blood sample of a girl for the dengue virus test at a hospital in east Pakistan's Lahore on Sept. 28, 2011. The death toll as a result of Pakistan's dengue fever outbreak continues to rise at alarming rates as at least 108 people have now been confirmed dead. The total number of people who have contracted the virus is reported to be at least 10,585 in Punjab, with 9,000 reported from Lahore. (Xinhua Photo/Sajjad)
  • Local pupils tie the rice at Jindai Botanical Garden in Chofu, Japan, Sept. 28, 2011. A group of pupils reap the rice they planted this May in Jindai Botanical Garden on Wednesday. (Xinhua/Kenichiro Seki)
  • A news conference on the nation's first space-docking procedure is held at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China's Gansu Province, Sept. 28, 2011. The Tiangong-1, or "Heavenly Palace 1," is scheduled to be sent into space late Thursday to perform the nation's first space-docking procedure. (Xinhua/Wang Jianmin)
Hot Forum Discussion