Ceramic mending: art on fingertips
Geng Haisheng, inheritor of ceramic mending, makes a butterfly-shaped cramp to mend a vase. [Photo/WeChat account: hi0631]
A handicraftsman is busy carving a charming butterfly-shaped cramp to be used to mend a crack on a porcelain vase.
The ceramic mending in Weihai, Shandong province, a traditional handicraft in China, was listed as a provincial intangible cultural heritage in 2015.
Geng Haisheng, the cultural inheritor, has been engaged in mending porcelain for 30 years.
According to Geng, fixing a porcelain bowl broken into two pieces, for example, requires matching the two broken pieces exactly, fastening them with a rope, punching holes on the edge of the joint between the two broken pieces, making cramps, nailing the cramps to the holes and filling up the cracks with a mixture of egg white and porcelain powder.
Of the six steps, punching holes is the most important because a too much force could cause irreparable damage.
After so many years’ work, Geng has developed new ideas in making cramps. He shapes them into different patterns to make the broken porcelain more beautiful than before. As mentioned above, a vivid butterfly makes the simple vase more delicate and appealing.
The handicraftsman now hopes to pass on his skills to more young people. He believes only when an increasing number of people love a handicraft, can it be passed down forever.