Elements of Intangible Cultural Heritage

    Micro Engraving in Porcelain


    Micro engraving in porcelain is a specialist craft of engraving on porcelain. The history of micro engraving can be traced back to oracle bone inscriptions dating from the Shang Dynasty, while micro engraving in porcelain dates back to the Song Dynasty. Developed from the traditional craft of porcelain engraving and micro engraving techniques, this craft adopted and improved already existent and available tools , introducing micro engraving for porcelain engraving. Decorative themes usually range from mountains, waterfalls and lakes, animals, figures and calligraphy. This craft makes use of sophisticated techniques, involving the use of sharp micro engravers to apply thin lines on the porcelain’s surface, which requires a great deal of visual accuracy and concentration from artisans.


    Conservation Status:

    Local porcelain micro engraving artists have continually developed their traditional craft and combined it with techniques of porcelain engraving from Zibo, in Shandong province. They are also active in promoting and transmitting this craft, helping to make it even more popular and well-known .


    Heritage Value:

    Micro engraving in porcelain is a composite form of art that combines skills of calligraphy, painting and engraving. The practice of this craft is also representative of the transmission and continuity of traditional Chinese handicraft culture in Macao. This craft fuses elements and thematic contents that also include local characteristics, therefore also serving as a good reference for studies about the development of local handicrafts and arts.

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