Craftsman gives Chengni inkstone new lease on life

Xinhua | Updated: 2023-02-17 13:53
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Lin Xiaolin checks the quality of a Chengni inkstone at a studio in Guangcun village of Xinjiang county in Yuncheng, North China’s Shanxi Province, Feb 14, 2023. [Photo/Xinhua]

Chengni inkstone, one of the “four famous inkstones” in China, is known for its fine texture which can reduce harm done to the brush.

Due to various reasons, the time-honored craft of making Chengni inkstone had once been lost but was later brought back by Lin Yongmao and his son Lin Tao, in Xinjiang county, North China’s Shanxi province.

It takes over a year and more than 10 steps to make a Chengni inkstone. In 2008, the craft of making Chengni inkstone was listed as one of China’s national intangible cultural heritages.

As the third-generation inheritor for the craft of making Chengni inkstone, Lin Xiaolin has known the craft well since his childhood. In 2019, he innovated the production of Chengni inkstone with his knowledge on ceramics after returning from his studies abroad. By controlling the temperature of the kiln, he managed to increase the colors of Chengni inkstone from three to eight.

The young inheritor also explores the online market via e-commerce and live streaming, which has brought him more attention to the traditional handicraft.
In the future, Lin Xiaolin plans to cooperate with universities and colleges to make Chengni inkstone more popular with stylish designs.

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