Phase 3: Interpreting Information

Updated 5 years 2 weeks ago

Welcome to my Phase 3, in Phase 0 and Phase 1 I chose my inquiry project, wood carving, and did some background research on it. For Phase 3 I will be gathering facts before and after the trip, and store all that information here.

Background Information from Phase 1:

This is the information I will find for Phase 1. I want to study the economic of wood carving in rural China, but before I do that I must study the arts of wood carving. Wood carving is a skill in carving, it is also a form of art, this art has been practiced in China for a long time, and has a lot of stories, and history behind it. In every wood carving there is a message behind it[1,2].

Wood Carving in General/History,

Wood carving is a form of working wood by the means of a cutting tool to make superb art[3]. Through looking at the wood carved artifacts that some people find we can know that Chinese wood carving has been developed into a highly developed state in the Qin Dynasty[4,8]. In the Chinese culture, aside from all the furniture and buildings the masters have also made religious figures[8]. Buddhism thrived during the six dynasties, and other periods such as the Tang period (618-907)[8]. The increase in Buddhism was what interested the wood carvers in making religious figures, because it could be sold at a higher price than a furniture, even if it took less time to carve than the furniture[8]. The skills needed to carve out realistic religious figure has been passed down in generation, the carvings can still be found today in various places[8]. The Yuan Dynasty has placed a high value on wood carving which helped the carvers to earn respectful titles, which then helped the carvers to pass down their knowledge easier[4,8].

Styles of Wood Carving,

Wood carving has the three main uses, architecture carving, furniture carving, and artwork/religious wood carving[5]. The most popular style of Chinese wood carving is Dongyang carving, which started from the Tang Dynasty, which developed into the Song Dynasty, then became most popular in the Ming, and Qing Dynasty[4,5,8]. Dongyang carving preserves the color and texture that the wood has at the start[8]. Dongyang carving has a smooth and soft texture, along with Dongyang carving is the depth of pattern that ranges from two to five millimeters[5]. The centerpiece is focused on by the force of pattern, the force is the power of the mallet hitting the chisel[5]. Dongyang carving lays stress on the background, which mean having the pattern cover the entire piece that makes a three dimensional display[5].

Wood Types,

Wood is a common material for carving, but not all kinds of wood can reach the same level of superiority[8]. The best wood in the Chinese culture is boxwood, boxwood has a fine texture on it, smooth and soft[4,8]. Other woods like incense wood and sandalwood are used for their great aroma, another kind of wood that is interesting to carve with because of its texture is gnarled wood, which has a lot of knots, bumps, and snarl[8].

How It Is Done,

Wood carving is done by imagination and cutting tools, like a chisel and mallet[9]. In the Western world hand craft wood carving is done with a chisel in two hand, one hand is used the hold the chisel where as the other hand is used to push it, so that the texture would be smooth and light[9]. Chinese style hand craft wood carving is done with a chisel in one hand and a mallet in the other, Chinese style wood carving is different because of the stops that are made on the wood, which basically mean Chinese style wood carving has a little rougher than Western style wood carving[9]. If you look closely into a Chinese style wood carving you can see little bumps, and rough stops, and those bumps are made because the wood carver is using to mallet to push the chisel, when the force comes to a stop the chisel is moved up to pick the wood piece out, and that is basically ripping paper, you would not have a smooth end on the carving[8,9].


There are several pieces of wood carving that is famous for the details, and skill in crafting these pieces[6]. For example, we have the "One Hundred Kids Celebrating the Chinese Festival", which is engraved in a wooden beam in Huizhou, Chengzhitang[6]. Huinzhou style wood carving has a wide range of subjects, such as landscape, animals, and even insects[6]. This wood carving, "One Hundred Kids Celebrating the Chinese Festival" happens to have most of the subjects that make Huizhou style wood carving fabulous[6]

Information From 3-To-5's:

Here are the answers that I got from the people that I interviewed. The lady at the front desk, gave me a MAP, a store to the right of the Linden Center, the name of the store, 之初艺术芸 Zhī chū yìshù yún. Mrs. Mai, gave me four area to find wood carvers (市平街路 Shì píng jiēlù, 市户街 Shì hù jiē, 四方街 Sìfāng jiē and 赛马路 Sàimǎ lù). Mr and Mrs. Linden, gave me areas, 大理古城 Dàlǐ gǔchéng, 喜洲 Xǐ zhōu, 喜洲大门 Xǐ zhōu Dàmén. The last person that I interviewed is Mr. T, 染衣巷 Rǎn yī xiàng, 大理古城 Dàlǐ gǔchéng, 喜洲 Xǐ zhōu, and Vandalized wood carving

If you want more information about the 3 to 5's then please visit my phase 2 page.


Information From Local Contacts:

Since I want to learn about the prices of the carvings I asked the people about it.

The first person that I interview was Mr. Zhang, Mr. Zhang was not a wood carver abut he sold some.

Mr. Zhang Q&A:

Q: How old is this piece?

A: Around 100 years.

Q: How old is this wooden door, is it around 5 years old because it looks old, the paint is coming off, and there are cracks on the top which means that it is old, or it has been in bad maintenance .

A: I have had this door is around half a year old, and I got it form a broken house. It could be older.

Q: How old would this small piece of wood be?

A: 100 rmb at the least because it is a old piece, and it is religious.

Q: What religion was this made for?

A: Buddhism.

Q: How about the door, how much would you sell it for?

A: Around 1000 rmb.

I said good bye, and left to see that next person, but he was not there so we moved on to visit Mr. Du.

Mr. Du Q&A:

Q: Do you have any wood carved objects?

A: Yes, of course I do, please come up stairs.

Q: What are these?

A: These are prints that people used before to print out news, and bibles.

Q: How much would you sell these statues?

A: The small ones are 300 rmb each because it is old, and is kept in great shape, the big ones are 4000 rmb per 5 statues.

Q: How about this plate?

A: This would be sold for 1000 - 1500 rmb, because of the quality of the wood. These bead necklace above it would cost 200 rmb, it is used to clam your mind.

After I left and went to see Mr. Yang, but he was not there so all I saw was the carvings.


  • Found a wood carver called BoBo.
  • BoBo is Chinese, and before he came to XiZhou he worked in France.
  • He was a designer in France, and changed to be a wood carver after France.
  • He chose to do wood carving here in XiZhou because he thinks that this area is nice, and calm.
  • He has been doing wood carving for six years now, and he chose to do wood carving because he felt like it, and because he likes producing art with nature.
  • He chose to do wood carving, because art made with wood is light, beautiful, and different at the finger tips.
  • The wood that he uses to make carvings are re-usable.
  • The most important thing is the wood.
  • A piece is determined with the quality of the wood, the color, and the smoothness.
  • His arts piece's money range form 50 to 15million RMB.
  • He does not get a steady income because it is at random, there is no long term customer.
  • He learned to do wood carving by himself, but there are also other master wood carvers in XiZhou if he ever wanted to learn more.
  • Wood carvers are very random, and so a big piece around the size of a kid can take up to a month to make, but if he focuses a piece as big as a grown man could only take him ten days. [10]

I went out to look for wood carvers. Using the information that I was given, I walked around the Village with Cecily. I failed to find any kind of wood carver from the area that I was given from the 3 to 5's.


I changed question 7, from my Big Ten (What do you think the difference is between Chinese and Western wood carving?)
He answer is below:
I think Chinese wood carving is smother than most western wood carvings. Russia's wood carving are close to the Chinese style, but has a lot more stop and less strides compared to the smooth Chinese carvings.

Information from Mr. BoBo:

  • Another person that copies from Mr. BoBo, his name is Mr. Yang. (Mr. Yang copies BoBo's carvings, such as BoBo's chair that is very unique due to the fact that it only has 3 legs and cost 1200 RMB.) 
  • Mr. BoBo only uses reusable wood as I mentioned earlier.
  • His first piece was a head carving of a Buddha, and he used the rest of the drift wood, which was shaped like a L, to create another bigger head carving of another Buddha.
  • The story behind the second Buddha is that he has been locked away in a mountain meditating, so his flesh was dropping down, and his eye brow hair was long and covering his eyes.[10]


Information From Mr. BoBo [10]

  • There is another wood carver that copies him
  • The copier is a person called Mr. Yang
  • Mr. Yang is old
  • Mr. Yang is busy after lunch

Information from the owner of Ji Yi Se, Mr. Tian [12]

  • There are wood carvers at the wind farm, Shang Guan
  • There is a wood carver at the tie-dye place, Zhou Cheng
  • The wood carver at Zhou Cheng is called Mr. Zhang
  • His phone number is 139-8723-8329


Information From Mr. T [11]

  • My final product would be focused on the what makes a good carving
  • Design, Technique, and Style


Information From Mr. BoBo [10]

  • To make a good carving you need good attitude
  • Never give up
  • Angle of the chisel 
  • Angle that you put the wood carving on
  • Power
  • Wood
  • Design
  • Steps
  • How to make a spoon
  • Tools
  • Straight and bent tools
  • Good Wood
  • How to properly use a wood carving hammer


Information From Mr. BoBo[10]

  • I asked Mr. BoBo again about what makes a good carving and the below is his answers
  • Your have to be strong in the mind and body
  • You do not always have to think before you make it, you can just think of the details while you are making it


Answers From Previous Question (Phase 1):

Answers for My Big Ten's

  1. Mr. BoBo's cost of his wood carvings can range from 50-15million
  2. He does not have a steady income, it is at random.
  3. The amount of people that visit him is at random.
  4. His has been learning for six years.
  5. Not important, it all depends on the wood.
  6. Around two to three wood carvers at XiZhou.
  7. Chinese wood carvings are smooth, and soft, where western wood carvings are short and abort.
  8. He learnt it by him self.
  9. He wanted to do wood carving because he wanted to, and because he likes nature, and reusable wood.
  10. The most that has ever taken him is ten months, but wood carvers don't always continue, they jump around.



1. Online: Alisa K.'s Final Product on wood carving,, gained access on 2. 8. 2015
2. Online: Sasha R.'s phase three,, gained access on 2. 8. 2015
3. Online: Wikipedia on wood carving,, gained access on 2. 8. 2015
4. Online: Wikipedia on history of wood carving,, gained access on 2. 8. 2015
5. Online: Chinese wood carving,, gained access on 2. 8. 2015
6. Online: Wood carving,, gained access on 2. 8. 2015
7. Online: Microcampus Citing Sources,, gained access on 2. 8. 2015
8. Online: History/introduction of wood carving,, gained access on 2. 13. 2015
9. Martian, Barret. Personal interview conducted by William B., 20 December 2014
10.BoBo. Personal interview conducted by William B. 24,April 2015
11. Mr. T. Personal Interview conducted by William B. 4,may 2015
12. Mr. Tian. Personal Interview conducted by William B. 3,May 2015


Hi everyone, my name is William. B, and I am 13 years old now. I was born in Taiwan and lived there for 9-10 years, but I am half British too. I am a student from SAS PD, and am in the Group Limitless. I was in XiZhou, and am in love with this amazing place. Xizhou has great food, although sometimes it is quite oily. My inquiry project is wood carving, and I only have one expert to look guidance to. I will cherish the days I have had XiZhou in my memory.