art pieces have been produced in China for many centuries.Lacquer is produced from the sap of the lac tree, which is commonly found
in central and southern China.Various
pigments are added to the resulting lacquer to change its color, and then the
lacquer is applied in many coats to an art object.After many coats, the lacquer is carved, producing unique designs,
patterns, and subjects.One
lacquer, which was prominent throughout China, was cinnabar lacquer. Cinnabar
Lacquer was made by mixing a seemingly innocuous mineral called cinnabar with
lacquer.Cinnabar lacquer was used
on a wide variety of pieces ranging in size from jewelry pieces to large ceramic
or metal vases.
production of a cinnabar lacquer piece is a fascinating and time consuming
process. First, the base work was
produced, whether it was a vase or a box. Next,
layer after layer of cinnabar lacquer was applied.Often layers would alternate in color to achieve a multicolor effect in
the design, and some pieces would feature more than 300 coats of lacquer.Each layer would have to dry before a new one was applied, so some pieces
could take months or even years to prepare. Once the lacquer layers had reached
the correct depth, the carving process could begin.
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Of all the canals in the entire world, the Grand Canal found in China is not only the oldest, but also the longest. In fact, this canal surpasses the second and third largest canals put together, being the Panama Canal and the Suez. The Grand Canal was first brought under construction during the Wu Dynasty in 486 BC. Then it was extended during the Qi Dynasty and then again during the Sui Dynasty under the reign of Emperor Yangdi.
Today, the length of the Grand Canal is approximately 1,200 miles long, running from Hangzhou in the Zhejian province located in the south of China to Beijing, located in the northern portion of the country. Additionally, the Grand Canal connects a number of river systems to include the Yangtze, Yellow Huaihe, Quiantang, and Haihe Rivers, and then at the southern end, flows through Hebei, Tianjin, Beijing, Jiangsu, Shandong, and Zhejiang.