The Feng xiang clay doll from Shanxi Province is a clay folkart and craft,and also a very popular toy loved by children,which can be dated back to the early Ming Dynasty(1368-1644) ,with a history of more than three hundred years. Their production workshops were mainly located in the area of East Liu dao ying in the Feng xiang City,where almost every household could produce the clay doll. In slack farming season, people kneaded the painted clay dolls out of mud and sold them during the festivals,which were very popular at that time.


The production workmanship of Feng xiang clay doll is very unique.First,
produce the mould made of mud and then moulded the base; apply several layers of a special paper pulp mud on the mould; through several processes like applying lacquer, bonding,trim, dyeing and painting, the final production then will be completed.Feng xiang clay dolls diversified in many kinds, which can be generally divided into pendants, ornaments, hand-playing pieces, with the sizes ranging from 30cm to 40cm, and some small ones only with a diameter of a couple of centimeters.Themes of the clay doll are extensive in its content,including the myths and legends,historical allusions,dramatic characters, as well as auspicious patterns,the rural folk lives,or birds,animals,insects and fishes.


The pendant of tiger head of Feng xiang clay dollis of the most distinguishing feature,which is also known as hanging tiger,with a pair of bulging eyes and forehead, applied with strong colors and decorated with various motifs in the face which are composed by flowers in different colors,money pattern,scattered pattern and swirling patern,and adorned by butterfly,bird or kid at the tip of its ears to express a
feeling of grace out of the fierceness.


The sitting lion statue and clay ox of the Feng xiang clay dollare also very unique.The sitting lion’s decoration resemblesthe ones ofthe hanging tiger, and with the same implication of exorcism.However the clay ox has a variety of specifications and different colors.The common ones are the black ox, green ox, yellow ox and purple ox. Colored paintings are applied on the back of them, including peony, peach blossom,lotus and other auspicious patterns.The ox’s body is hollowed in which there are a few gris of gravel or beans in order to produce the sound while being shaken.


Feng xiang clay doll is very particular about the use of color. Although there are only several limited common colors like red,green,pink,yellow and green,yet after a careful deploy by the artist,works with a variety of rich and gaudy colors can be produced, which are with vigorous modeling and vivid, witty and exaggerated style of strong decorative impression.It surely possesses a unique artistic charm.


By cnintro

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *