Thursday, March 31, 2016

Carefully curated pieces of jade art

I hope the title of this post doesn't sound too grand for my little jade discards. I couldn't resist using  the catchy title  even at the risk of sounding pretentious.

Carefully curated

Each piece measuring approximately 1.5cm to 2.3cm is  hand carved from paper thin jade. Imagine the work!

Do these curious charms or amulets  some damaged and faded merit such praise? Is it art? Is it craft or is it junk? Reader and collector, I leave it to your individual discernment and taste to judge. As for me I rate them as crafty art, these neato pieces of finely carved jade depicting bamboo, flower, plant, butterfly etc.


Hand carved from paper thin jade
There is a history of more than 100 years behind these delicate but durable carvings. The artisans  worked laboriously to turn them into all things natural and auspicious,  such as plants, weeds, butterflies, bees, flowers and what have you. These in turn are assembled into artistic hairpins and other ornaments. Through the passage of time, people no longer use old fashioned hairpins and ornaments, their   live styles and hairstyles evolving towards modern jewelery and trendy accessories.  As they fall into disuse the jade pieces become detached from their gold and silver mountings. The metals are melted down and sold or recycled but jade which is indestructible are cast aside  to be rediscovered by bargain hunters at flea marts, yard sales and junk stores. Hah ! Now I really feel like a curator, narrating the life story of these charms.

life story of jade charms

I have mounted them onto red templates  arranged over a black background. I must confess that I  got the idea of such a compilation from  a photo I espied on ebay. So thank you  my ebay compatriot. I sure hope your picture sold well. And hope you pardon this copy-cat-collector borrowing your design. As the cliché goes imitation is the sincerest form of flattery :)

Jade on red templates over a black background

It was finally made into a framed picture and the treasured pieces now decorates part of my wall space.
Jade charms decorate my wall



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  • Theft : a love story
  • The Uncommon Reader
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  • Never Let me go
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  • Where angels fear to tread