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 Home >> Art & Craft >> Jeon-gak (Seal engraving)

The art of engraving on stone - Seal engraving

Seal engraving is a Chinese art. Seal engravers carve ancient Chinese characters, called ¡®Jeon gak¡¯, onto stone or wood. The traditional character is called ¡®Jeon Seo¡¯, and it is noted for its beauty.Other styles include the more angular style of writing, called ¡®Ye Seo¡¯, and the printed style of writing, named ¡®He Seo¡¯ which is also carved onto stone.

Artists carve drawings and characters using various materials such as gold, silver, copper, jade, wood and bamboo root.The fabrication date of an object of art is marked with a signature, and a seal engraving is stamped.   This sometimes includes a poem as well as the place of manufacture.

Rules of sealingIt is important for the seal to be consistent in style.There are two kinds of seal carving known as Ju Mun and Bek Mun. ¡®Ju Mun¡¯ appears red when stamped because the character carved is embossed. ¡®Bek Mun¡¯ appears white as the character carved is hollowed.

There are several points to keep in mind for seal carving:

Dense or sparse spaceThe number of strokes in a Chinese character and the space available on the stone or wood needs to be considered.Thin or thick charactersWhen characters have to be carved with a lot of strokes on a small space, artists carve thin characters.   In contrast, thick characters are reduced in size by the artist by increasing or reducing the strokes of characters.   Delicate and simple shapesThe shapes of the characters carved are moderately delicate, but simple.

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