Thursday, November 18, 2010
Chops 图章 Túzhang
Chops or seals with ones name or business carved upon them are an important artifact of daily life in China. People use chops on checks, official documents such as passports and school certificates, as well as birth and marriage certificates, paintings and works of calligraphy. Carving chops is a highly respected craft. This artisan is rubbing a stone smooth in preparation for carving.
The stone is then carved with very sharp, precise lines using a special carving tool. You can choose to have your chop carved in relief- called Yang (male), or intaglio - called Yin (female). You can also choose which style of script you would like your name carved in. The little red jars in the background all contain the special vermilion ink that is used for impressing the chop onto the paper.