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replacement scrolls

Posted: Jan 23, 2012 10:48 pm
by sunmtn
Gary,
Here are photos of the replacements, attached, in square seal script that you sent me for the words "wing chun." They are good and I am happy. Can you supply details of why they are a bit different other than the different color materials I ordered?

Thanks,

Keith Sonnenberg

Posted: Jan 24, 2012 8:07 pm
by Gary
This is something I struggle with continuously.

Virtually all the materials we use are handmade.

The batches of silk are made on an antiquated loom, and then dyed by hand (the dye is mixed by sight until the color is about right).

The paper takes over a year to make. This is mostly because the pulp is laid out for a year to be bleached and color stabilized in the sun. It's then processed and pressed into sheets (all by hand using methods that date back 1000 years or so).

The wooden knobs are a style I designed a few years back when I could not find the quality I wanted on the wooden knobs typically found in the market (for a reasonable price). I now have them made (by hand, but on a mechanical wood lathe) by a furniture maker in Ningbo, China. More on my knobs: http://www.orientaloutpost.com/forum/vi ... php?t=4631

One of these three elements is what you might be talking about in terms of variation. The reason is, every batch of silk, paper, and knobs is a little different.

If you order wall scrolls all at the same time, they will match. But next month, next quarter, or next year, all bets are off. It's the nature of handmade materials.

-Gary.

Re: replacement scrolls

Posted: Jan 24, 2012 10:29 pm
by sunmtn
Gary,
Here are photos of the replacements, attached, in square seal script that you sent me for the words "wing chun." They are good and I am happy. Can you supply details of why they are a bit different other than the different color materials I ordered?

Thanks,

Keith Sonnenberg

Gary,
Thank you. I think it is fantastic that everything is hand made according to old ways! Every time I get an order, it kind of feeds my desire to get more scrolls. I completely understand naturally occurring differences in hand made items.
>>>What I meant was that the actual calligraphy is different on each of these two different scrolls - even though they are both supposed to say "Wing Chun (Tsun)" in square seal script. I can see that they are both square seal script. Just wanted to know if there is any significance to the difference in the calligraphy lines themselves or if they each say something slightly different than the other.

Keith

Posted: Jan 25, 2012 10:23 am
by Gary
Awe, I see, I missed the obvious difference, and thought you were talking about material variation with your past orders.

Some background first...

Seal script is almost the oldest form of Chinese (bronze script is and earlier pictographic form that led to seal script). In 221 B.C. the Qin Emperor came to power and set about standardizing the written language of his expanding empire. Up to that point, there were often 20 different ways to write each character (watch the movie "Hero", as this issue is a major plot point of that movie).

While a standard set of characters started to emerge, the variations of each character persisted somewhat.

Fast forward to more recent times...

Calligraphers often love and cherish character variations. If a piece of calligraphy has the same character repeated in the text, the calligrapher will try to find two different ways to write the character (thus avoiding exact repetition and maintaining artistic flow).

In the case of your artwork, Xing An-Ping decided to make the pieces artistic and educational, by showing two different ancient ways to write Wing Chun. Also, he avoided repetition even though they are separate pieces (I think he assumed they'd be hung in the same area).

You're probably already aware that Wing Chun can be written as
咏
春
OR
詠
春

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But how about the original seal script variations:
咏
春
詠
春
詠
春
咏
春
詠
春
詠
春
詠
春
咏
春
咏
春
詠
春
詠
春
詠
春
詠
春
詠
春
咏
春
詠
春
詠
春
咏
春


This is just a small sample of common variations. I have a dictionary of seal script variation that probably has 20 or more versions of each character.

The crazy thing about Xing An-Ping is, he seems to know all the variations of every character in his head. There's about 20,000 characters that you'll need to know to read ancient Chinese literature. He seems to know all of them, in 4 major styles (zhuan, li, kai, cao), and 4 more sub-styles (square zhuan, xing-kai, xing, xing-cao). Then he knows many variations of each character. There's something like 500,000 characters and variations in his head!

I can't compare this to English, except that you can spell things differently sometimes such as the name Sean, Shawn, Shaun. Or, the variation of handwriting from one person to the next.

-Gary.

Posted: Jan 25, 2012 9:59 pm
by sunmtn
This is something I struggle with continuously.

Virtually all the materials we use are handmade.

The batches of silk are made on an antiquated loom, and then dyed by hand (the dye is mixed by sight until the color is about right).

The paper takes over a year to make. This is mostly because the pulp is laid out for a year to be bleached and color stabilized in the sun. It's then processed and pressed into sheets (all by hand using methods that date back 1000 years or so).

The wooden knobs are a style I designed a few years back when I could not find the quality I wanted on the wooden knobs typically found in the market (for a reasonable price). I now have them made (by hand, but on a mechanical wood lathe) by a furniture maker in Ningbo, China. More on my knobs: http://www.orientaloutpost.com/forum/vi ... php?t=4631

One of these three elements is what you might be talking about in terms of variation. The reason is, every batch of silk, paper, and knobs is a little different.

If you order wall scrolls all at the same time, they will match. But next month, next quarter, or next year, all bets are off. It's the nature of handmade materials.

-Gary.
Gary,
Thanks for the great biographical info on Xing An-Ping and his amazing talent! Also the variations of ways to write "Wing Chun" is stunning. This is very helpful in future orders!

Keith