Traditional handicrafts thrive in Jinan

Licheng district in Jinan, Shandong province is promoting the preservation of its traditional handicrafts by integrating with local tourism, cultural creative product development, intangible heritage cultural workshops, and rural vitalization.

The district is rich in cultural resources, especially traditional handcrafts and intangible cultural heritages such as the gourd pyrography technique, the pottery seal making technique, and the traditional snuff processing technique.

In Caishi subdistrict, Sun Limin, an inheritor of the gourd pyrography technique, made use of the traditional art to help locals find a new way to vitalize the rural economy by developing gourd-related industries.

Gourd pyrography is a traditional craft that involves drawing on a gourd with a soldering iron rather than a pen. It is a provincial intangible cultural heritage in Shandong.

To promote local culture, Sun made a series of gourd pyrography artworks based on the ancient story and folk culture of Caishi subdistrict. The area now boasts a thriving gourd industry, which includes gourd growing, gourd cultural creative product sales, and gourd-themed homestays.

Through the efforts of its inheritors, the Yellow River mud seal making technique has become widely recognized by China's calligraphy, painting, and seal carving inheritors.

Licheng district's Shengtu brand pottery seal is China's sole Yellow River mud seal brand, incorporating clay sculpting, pottery, painting, and seal carving art forms. Licheng government has created a variety of cultural and creative products based on traditional art. It incorporates Buddha, figures, the zodiac, and other shapes. The craft is displayed on red pottery, ink pottery, white pottery, and other colors, with landscapes, figures, and other patterns as embellishment.

The products are popular not only in Japan, South Korea and other countries, but also as diplomatic gifts, demonstrating the allure of Chinese culture to people all over the world.

The Ximian brand snuff processing technique in Licheng which has a history of more than 100 years, has played an important role in promoting traditional Chinese medicine.

Snuff is a traditional Chinese medical product with a distinctive scent. It takes at least two years to make and utilize natural ingredients like rose, peppermint, and herbs like saffron, as well as fermentation, smoking, aging, and storage techniques.

When individuals inhale the snuff and the medicine is spread throughout the body via the nose and lungs, it can help regulate human body functions and prevent and treat diseases. It was listed as an intangible cultural heritage item by Shandong province in November 2021.

Shengtu brand pottery seal products [Photo/Dazhong News]

Ximian brand snuff products [Photo/Dazhong News]

Sun Limin and her gourd pyrography artwork [Photo/Dazhong News]

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