Suzhou padauk carving has a long history. It has formed the Su style--- the style of simple modeling, upright and straight lines, worked excellently and well polished since Ming Dynasty. The wood for padauk carving products are mainly used to decorate meeting rooms, dining rooms, studies. They include beds, tables, sofas and wardrobes. There are other products like boxes, plates, rolling scrolls, etc. Tub-shaped objects, chests and animals, flowers, characters are engraved in the way of shallow relief, relief sculpture and engraving. The padauk first must be dried in order not contract, distort or crack. The main products are whole set furniture as beds, cabinets, desks, sofas etc, What’s more, the padauk are also used to decorate higher class bedrooms, dining rooms, reading rooms and meeting rooms. They includes the small things as boxes, plates, seats, tables, folding screens; the craftworks as canister, cages, covers as well as characters, beasts, and flowers through simple carvin
Suzhou Fan is the general term for Suzhou folding fan, sandalwood fan, silk palace fan, paper fan. Suzhou Fan is well known for its long history and refining craft ship. The folding fan got its name for folding is keeping, and is also called scattering fan for scattering it while opening to use. The frame is mainly made of bamboo slats with fan surface made from rice paper. Suzhou fans were produced first at Southern Song (1127-1279) and flourished in Yuan and Ming Dynasties when many masters appeared. Levigation bone jade folding fan attracted many experts to write poems and draw pictures and carve on it when came out, then formed the fine and elegant style. The “Old Fan face”, well-known for its fine, strong, even and endurable quality, is the best among the Suzhou fans. With the paintings and calligraphy, this fan can be appreciated as well as cool people. The area of Peach blossom Shipyard of Changmen has been the centralized place for Suzhou fan ever since.
Suzhou Musical Instruments
Early in Qing Dynasty Qian Long year, Suzhou musical instrument manufacture was very thriving and the musical instrument manufactured here take the leading position in the whole country. Erhu (two-stringed bowed instrument with a lower register than Jinghu), and bamboo flute developed a new school by its inherent local characteristic and the lasting style. Presently the main musical instrument enterprises are the First Folk Musical Instrument Enterprise, the Second Folk Musical Instrument Enterprise, the Third Folk Musical Instrument Enterprise and the West Musical Instrument Enterprise, which produce more than 100 various instruments including Jinghu, Erhu, dulicimer, Yuan, zheng, flute, Xiao, Sheng, timpano, suona, gong, cymbals, violin, the electric guitar etc. Whats more, Purified padauk Erhu and timpano were awarded by Jiangsu Province and the Ministry of Light Industry respectively. The successful invention of Pulled Yuan by Suzhou Musical instrument workers made up the lack
Suzhou embroidery, multi-colored and gorgeous, is regarded as a pearl of Chinese art. The original place of Suzhou embroidery is in the area of Wu County, and now it has already spreaded to Wuxi, Changzhou, Yangzhou, Suqian, Dongtai and other places of Jiangsu. With fertile land and mild climate, Jiangsu is a good place for raising silkworms; as a result this place is rich in silk and wins the name of the town of brocade and embroidery. The superior geographical environment, the gorgeous brocade, and the prismy thread together create favorable condition for Suzhou embroidery. Daily necessities of Suzhou embroidery do not only varied stitches, superb workmanship and elegant colors, but the designs have the meaning of festivities, longevity, fortune which are welcomed by the populace. There is also an upscale variety, called the picture embroiders or Lady's chamber embroidery.
Suzhou Writing Brush
Writing brush, Anhui ink, rice paper and Duanxi Ink-slab, are regarded as The Four Treasures of the Study in China .The special writing brush was introduced into Suzhou from Wuxin, Zhejiang province in late 18th century. In times, Suzhou Writing brush has formed its own local style that varies in shaped, equal-long, round and robust tips. Suzhou writing bushes are classified into six categories: Goat hair, Mixed hair, Purple hair, Wolf hair, Clock glume and Weasel hair. Furthermore, there are more than 300 sizes of brush, including : big size, middle size, small regular script size, couple brushes and screen brushes etc. The diameter of some brushes is as big as the bowl mouth; others are as small diameter as the embroidery needle. The well-chosen materials and fine craft guarantee excellent performance and quality of the writing bush, which also wins the compliment of the general users.
Suzhou Song Brocade, well-known for its magnificent color, delicate patterns and softness, Nanjing Yun Brocade, Sichuan Su Brocade are honored as the most famous brocades in China. Suzhou Song Brocade started at Five Dynasties (907-960), and developed prosperously until Song Dynasty, especially after the empire Songgaozong moved the capital to the south of china, which transferred the national political and cultural center to the south of the Yangtze River. In order to satisfy the cultural need, there appeared a kind of extremely thin and fine brocade for the purpose of mounting pictures and calligraphies. There are more than 40 varieties, including the blue tower brocade, the purple hundred flowers with dragon brocade, the red persimmon with turtle back brocade and so on. Those old and beautiful pictures are preserved together with the brocade, that is the reason why people today mentioning brocade will naturally think of Song Dynasty, and it is also the reason why it is called Son
Gold And Silver Ware
Gold and silver wares include the works of embossment or three-dimensional characters, birds or animals; Lei silk-the handicrafts welded, piled and twisted by using the hair-like gold and silver silk.; Blue -scribble on the gold silverware with the cloisonne enamel powder; Click greenly -add color to gold and silver ware by sticking the kingfisher's feather on them; and Inlay that means inlaying things as spark, gem, pearl, etc. on the gold and silver ornament with welding healer, or inlaying the gold and silver silk into the padauk, ox horn, or utensils made of red sandalwood, bronze, Zi Sha, etc.. Inlay is a kind of special techniques that pasts the painting sketch first while making, then dig groove according to the lines of the painting as well as inlaying the gold or silver silk that is as thick as the groove. In the end, wipe and paint brightly and clearly to give the products meticulous and elegant artistic characteristics.
Lacquer Ware Carving
Lacquer ware carving refers to the daily furniture and craftworks made with Xiu decoration skill, delicate carving and mixing natural dopes (big lacquer) Luodianpian, Geseshou, with Qingtian stone. These products are grind-resisting, acid proof, even, bright, fast and durable.
Ke silk refers to the textile with floral design woven flatly with silk. It adopts the raw silk to make longitude, colored boiled silk to make latitude using one bamboo leaf –shape shuttle to dig partial according to the draft. Ke silk is originated before Sui and Tang. Dynasties, and there had Suzhou Ke silk as early as the Southern Song Dynasty
Suzhou Shops and Stores:
Suzhou, a city famous for its long history and ancient gardens, have some special streets, in which you can feel the charm of history and the joy of shopping.
Guanqian Street is the busiest business pedestrian street in Suzhou. With many big emporiums, franchised stores and well-known restaurants, it is considered to be the center of shopping and consumption. It has been a renowned shopping street for two hundred years. Along both sides of the street, there are dense celebrated shops, special local product stores, old famous manufacturers, and various recreation places all over. The night market is also very famous for there you can buy all kinds of things you could wish for.
Among those numerous alleys, Shantang Street is regarded as the first street of Gusu. There are three reasons. Firstly, Shantang Street is an ancient street with a 1100-year-long history; secondly, the structure of Shantang Street can be considered to be the representative of the pattern of Suzhou streets; thirdly, it is related to many well-known people and events. Now it has become a famous pedestrian street with many franchised stores, business mansions, bars and so on.