For nearly 50 years, Zhao Yuming has been immersed in his own world of clay figurines. At 62, Zhao is the only remaining clay sculpture master craftsman in Laoting county, Hebei province.
Clay sculpture is one of the main traditional crafts in Laoting. For Zhao, becoming a master of intangible cultural heritage is not only an honor, but also a responsibility and a source of pressure.
Zhao can get financial support from the government, but he must personally teach the next generation to avoid the loss of this traditional art.
Laoting clay sculpture has a nearly 500-year history.
"If we do not pass it on, we will do a disservice to our country. Inheriting the skills, honoring ourselves and repaying the country is the best option," Zhao said.
In ancient times, Laoting clay figurines were mainly children"s toys made by rural artisans. But in the 1930s, folk art, such as drum operas and shadow play, provided another use for figurines that exhibited decorative or collection value, which became known as "literary clay figurines".vinyl wristbands rubber bracelets custom cheap personalised silicone wristbands rubber bracelet maker silicon or silicone