Uncanny Factoid: The Pits (4 pics)

Posted in PICTURES       11 May 2011       5199       1

Artwork that is truly the pits.

 

I can’t believe how tiny and yet perfect these small carvings are. They are graceful and from the pictures you’d think they are full size carvings. Yet, they are just the size of a fruit pit.

The art of nut carving (Heidao) has been practiced in China for centuries. People love the carvings and give the artist praise for running the ugly pit stones into beautiful pieces of art. The practice was made popular during the Ming Dynasty and even high ranking officials considered it fashionable to wear carved fruit pit accessories. The provinces of Suzhou, Yangzhou, Weifang in Shandong, and Guangdong are famous for their level of detail and unique characteristics.

Fruit pit carving requires a series of skills and tools along with excellent three-dimensional carving skills. You also need a great deal of patience and most importantly the ability to understand the irregular texture of the fruit pit. Peach stones are the normal material used for nut carving and although they have bumps and holes a seasoned carver can tell with just a glance if the pit will become an art piece he has in mind.

Learn Something Fun: Peach is associated with escape, in Chinese culture, so peach pit carvings are widely used as pendants or on as a string of beads to ward of evil and avoid misfortunes.



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