Seal carving workshop

Connect sign and matter in three steps

Workshop room Vandenhove

• session 1: Etymological research and Calligraphic models

This first afternoon is dedicated to the discovery of Chinese script through etymological dictionaries. The way characters are classified, the different types of scripts and their location, the material supports for writing (wood, bamboo, bronze, stone, silk or paper). Participants will be invited to select the characters for the seal they have in mind and combine them in a condensed form of script. Compilations of ancient seals and more recent creations by seal carvers will be available for consultation. 

On this first day, each participant will choose one or more stones to be carved and base his or her research on the size and appearance of the support.

The second step in the creation of a seal is devoted to the process of copying and interpreting calligraphic models. The accent will be placed on how models are «born», by introducing a few among the most copied calligraphic models and analysing their style. Based on this practice, the participants will be guided towards a calligraphic rendering of their seal design. Exercises on this day will essentially be in ink on paper, although participants can train to write directly on the stone, in reverse, with the help of smaller brushes. 

• session 2: Carving and Printing

This session is about handling the chisel, sometimes called «the Iron Brush», on a small and soft stone surface. the fine-grained and tender pyrophillite used for this purpose can be sanded and re-used until the result is satisfactory. During the printing process, the participants are encouraged to keep printing their seal «in progress», adding a cinematic dimension to the exercise. In addition to the seal impression in red cinnabar paste, before they walk away with their stone in hand, the participants are invited to leave a rubbing of the dedicatory inscription or colophon they will have carved on the side of the stone, as a record for the time and place where the inscription occurred.


2 sessies


session 1: Etymological research and Calligraphic models

Paviljoen Vandenhove02/03/2020 15:00 - 18:001

session 2: Carving and Printing

Paviljoen Vandenhove03/03/2020 15:00 - 18:000
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