Monday, October 27, 2008

Signed, Seal(ed)...

...And Delivered

It’s been a while since I’ve had another try at Chinese arts and crafts. Chinese Culture Center was advertising for some Seal Chop Carving* lessons so I decided to attend. I already have my personal name seal with my Chinese name (西琳 - XiLin) which was done by a (real) seal carver so I went a different route and did something different (I didn’t want to compete with the masters!):


Final product

And like last time with the Chinese Knot Tying, I’ll go to the experts next time I need a Chop!

* A Seal is used in East Asia (China, Korea and Japan) to prove identity on document, office paperwork, contracts, art, etc… in certain cases, only seals are acceptable
The chops are typically made of stone, sometimes of wood, bamboo, plastic or ivory and are used with red ink.
Most people in China possess a personal name seal. Seals can serve as identification with signatures because they are difficult to forge (when compared to forging a signature) and only the owner has access to his own seal. Seals are usually carved out by specialist seal carvers, or by the users themselves. Results vary, but it is possible for individuals to carve perfectly legitimate seals for themselves.