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University Students Inherit Traditional Jewelry-making Craft

Popularity 1Viewed 936 times 2018-10-12 16:04 |System category:News

Hairpin designed and made by students [Xinhua / Zhou Yaping]


At Kunming University of Science and Technology City College (KUSTCC), students majoring in jewelry design and production technology are devoted to the study and innovation of traditional jewelry-making craft.

In the recent hit of costume drama series themed on the court intrigue of Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), the exquisite jewelry worn by actresses attracted a lot of attention, some of which was made with traditional craft, including filigree inlay and kingfisher feather decorating techniques.

In people's minds, the ancient, highly-skilled and dying forms of craft were mastered by only a few old craftsmen, and young people seldom dabbled in it.

KUSTCC students' commitment to traditional jewelry making has debunked that view.

The college lays special emphasis on training students' practical abilities. Their practice class accounts for about 55 percent of the entire courses offered, Yang Jingran, a teacher, said.

According to Yang, at present, there are very few universities and colleges in China offering "jewelry design and production technology" courses for undergraduate students. Compared with the major in art colleges, KUSTCC, as a university with strengths in technology, can provide both technical and scientific support. "Our teachers are both equipped with the knowledge about materials and technology, which enables them to fully guide the students in the craft that combines techniques and art," Yang said.

Before making crafts, students need to design and decide upon the materials and tools to be used. They also need to consider the name, style and image of the jewelry.

"I therefore often tell the students that they need to accumulate more traditional cultural knowledge so as to create better works with finer design and craftsmanship," Yang said.

Among the traditional crafts, the filigree inlay craft is a delicate one. Students first need to pull the gold and silver into a very fine silk, "Sometimes as thin as a strand of hair!" Yang told the reporter.

And more often than not, it takes beginners around three months to complete a piece of work, Yang added.


A student makes a jewelry. [Xinhua / Zhou Yaping]

Jewelry made with the filigree inlay craft [Xinhua / Zhou Yaping]

Students discuss design plans in class. [Xinhua / Zhou Yaping]

Metal sachets made with the filigree inlay craft. [Xinhua / Zhou Yaping]


(Source: Xinhua/Translated and edited by Women of China)

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)




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