Phase 2: Finding Helpful Resources

Updated 5 years 5 months ago

Some keywords I probably would use when searching for information would be: wood, carving, Xi Zhou, types, skills, tools, masters, technique, history, legends, meaning, where, how.

To know if the source and information is valid and trustworthy, you can check other websites as well, and see if it contains the same facts. If several websites say the same, then the information is probably correct. If it is different, then the information is invalid. Another way is to see the URL. Most of the time, websites that end in ".edu", ".gov", ".org" should be reliable data. 

To find out who was the person who published the information, I could check to see if they wrote "by _____", and know the publisher. If the information did not come from the publisher him/herself, then they should have cited their source. I would check the sources and go to those websites, to make sure that it is reliable information.

Expert 1:

Wan Shaojun

Wan Shaojun is a master of arts and crafts of zhejiang province at present in yiwu. He has made inportant achievements in wood sculpture and won many prizes in the national and provincial level with some of his productions.

Expert 2:

Mrs. Liu Jing- A leading expert in antique appraisal.

Mrs.Liu Jing is an expert in Beijing palace Museum, specializing in bamboo, wood, ivory, and rhino horn carvings. She wrote many books on these carvings, even though she herself may not be able to make them.

Expert 3:

Zhu Ying (朱纓)

Expert Bamboo carver, but also carves on wood as well.

Sample email:

Hello ____,

      My name is Alisa. I am a student in Shanghai American School, currently in 8th grade. 16 students in 8th grade from the pudong campus are going to stay at Xi Zhou, Yunnan, for one month, studying about their specific topic. My project topic is Wood Carving. I heard you were a well trained antique appraisal expert who knows a lot about wood carvings. I was wondering if you could help me out a bit with my project and share some information with me. It would certainly support and make my job a bit easier. You could also check out my work on this project here:

Here are some of the questions I have for wood carving:

1. How long has this skill been going on for?

2. Do people who carve on wood doors also know how to carve on other places like chairs or tables?

3. Who, in the town of XI Zhou, is a master in the art of wood carving?

4. What type of wood is used, or what is the best choice?

5. Are there any legends/stories related to wood carving?

6. What tools are required?

7. Who was the one who invented this technique?

8. What is the difference of carvings on doors to those on chairs, tables, and others?

9. How long does it take, in average, to finish a piece on one door?

10. Did this skill originate from China? If so, where in China? If not, then where did it come from, and how did it come to China?

Thank you for reading this email. I really appreciate it if you could assist me throughout my journey at Xi Zhou.


Alisa ____

Once arriving at Xi Zhou, I tried to look for some good 3-5 minute chats with 3-5 local people here. I did happen to find some very knowledgable people. They gave me plenty of information. I learned some places to question some more people as well. In Dali old town, at the south gate, there are a few good places to study about wood carving. I also went to a shop where they were selling some wood carvings. They told me a lot of information, and I am planning on going there again. They said that the places they bought the wood carvings are close to their own shop. I could visit those shops as well. The information they shared with me would be recorded on Phase 3. I learned from Mr.Tafel some places I can visit. Mr.Yang builds caskets out of wood, and carves quite amazing designs on his work. He built his own house as well. Another place is Jie Chuan, which is about 200 kilometers away. Zhou Cheng is also another choice. However, both Jie Chuan and Zhou Cheng are for tourists. One place where Mr.Tafel thing would be the best place would be Ren Li Yi. I am also planning on questioning Mr.Linden/Brian, since he knows some things about wood carving and the people who carve.

In the library of the Linden Centre, I could look for books with certain topics. Topics such as Arts, Chinese Antiques, Wood Carving, Chinese Architecture, Xi Zhou Traditions, and others I can not think of but will know will help me when I see or look through the book.

Hello, my name is Alisa. I am an Alumni from Group C, the Cookie Monsters. Over the course of one month, I strengthen my bond with Mr.T and Mrs. Mai, as well as my wonderful friends who accompanied me on my journey. I learned so many things, went so many places, met so many people, ate lots of delicious foods! My adventure in Xi Zhou never failed to keep me laughing. By the end of the trip, I was a wood carving master, and had a family of eighteen crazy cookie monsters, whom I shared this amazing journey with. My trip to Xi Zhou changed my way of thinking and how I live my life. I will never forget the memories I made at Xi Zhou as a member of the Cookie Monsters.