What to buy: The history of Chaozhou ceramics can be traced back to Neolithic age. During that time, the ancient humanity who inhabit in Chaozhou were already able to make the simple and crude daily-use earthenware. In the middle of Tang Dynasty, the ceramics appeared in Chaozhou where there were kilns spread all over the suburbs. In Northern Song Dynasty, the Chaozhou ceramics stepped to a more resplendent stage. There is a so-called “100 kilns village” ruins of Northern Song Dynasty which used to the biggest scale of kilns during that time. In Qing Dynasty, the ceramic were already sold to Southeast Asia, Africa and Americas and so on.
What to buy: The most resplendent period of Chaozhou ceramics is the present age. Facing the market competition, Chaozhou ceramics with unique art style forms craft porcelains, daily-use porcelains, sanitary wares and electron porcelains and so on. In addition, the rich resources of porcelain clay support the durative development of Chaozhou ceramics. As one of the China ceramic culture birthplaces, Chaozhou has become the most vigorous and fastest developing ceramic manufacturing location. It’s the biggest ceramic manufacturing and export location in China.
What to buy:
Chaozhou woodcarving and Dongyang woodcarving are the two big folk woodcarvings in China. As a kind of arts used in architecture and furniture, Chaozhou woodcarving has a long history. It can be traced back to Tang Dynasty and developed very fast during Ming Dynasty.
In Chaozhou the woodcarvings are installed in the girder and chapiter of the door, window and the front corridor where the line of sight is good and far from sunshine and raining. Furniture such as folding screen, tables, beds, cupboard and so on can also be decorated by woodcarving.
Chaozhou woodcarving is closely related to every area of the common life. Its themes usually come from mythology, legend, drama and history story. Animals and plants are also the themes of Chaozhou woodcarving.
Penetration and multi-arrangement are the most outstanding characteristics. The long and complicated tales are connected naturally in one work, in which the stories are narrated clearly and completely, and also the characters are depicted respectively.
Another representative characteristic of Chaozhou woodcarvings is gilding. Gilding is not only for the grandeur effect but also for the protection of the woodcarving.
Today, the Chaozhou woodcarvings are famous both in China and overseas. From the Chaozhou woodcarving, we can also realize the delicate of the Chaozhou culture but also the full-bodied local custom.
What to buy:
Chaozhou Embroidery is an important part of Yue Embroidery, which is one of the four kinds of best embroideries in China. It’s of long standing with a history of over a thousand years.
The biggest characteristic of Chaozhou Embroidery is semi-dimensional and empaistic. Meanwhile, it uses golden thread, silver thread and woolen thread simultaneously. The principle of creating the Chaozhou Embroidery is “compact and full”. The process of making Chaozhou Embroidery is complicated and painstaking, which there are over two hundred of stitch skills used. As to color, the Chaozhou Embroidery usually uses sharply contrastive colors not only for pursuing the stimulation of senses but also the jubilant ambience. Besides dragons and phoenixes, the legends in the Chaozhou drama, mountains, streams, flowers, birds, fishes and so on are all the themes of the Chaozhou Embroidery. Every high-quality Chaozhou Embroidery is a wonderful workmanship excelling nature.
Today, the handicraftsmen of Chaozhou Embroidery inherit the traditional skills and promote the development of Chaozhou Embroidery. Chaozhou has become the biggest production base of fashionable dresses of bead embroiders in the world. Again, the clever and deft handicraftsmen present their intelligence and wisdom in the new times!
What to buy:
Dawu Clay Sculpture has a history of over 700 years. Qing Dynasty is the most prosperous time of Dawu Clay Sculpture. It is said that there was a clay sculpture workshop in every family during that time.
Styles of makeup in drama is one of the main breeds of Dawu Clay Sculpture. Making head sculptures of puppets is one craft form which is used widely for the puppets play is popular in Chaozhou area. The main work of making head sculptures of puppets is tinting. And the most difficult skill is tinting the eyes as the clay product blots well.
Another main breed of Dawu Clay Sculpture is the whole body of character of drama. This breed holds an important position its higher skills. The body is sculpted at first and then the four limbs and head are fixed. Finally the clay figurine is “dressed up”. The clothes are all made from the pressed clay and then pasted on the body of the sculpture. This is the biggest characteristic of Dawu Clay Sculpture-“Pasting Sculpture”. It’s an unique skill.
As many folk arts, no matter it’s prosperous or flat, the art of Dawu Clay Sculpture is always everlasting.
What to buy:
The beautiful mountains and rivers of Chaozhou have bred rich agalmatolite resources. There has been distinctive culture of enjoying agalmatolites in Chaozhou since Qing Dynasty.
Chaozhou Agalmatolites are found in the area of Phoenix Mountain. The main mineral ingredient of agalmatolites is the crystal of silicon dioxide. We could enjoy agalmatolites from their shaps, colors, textures and so on. Enjoying agalmatolites can purify the mind. It’s a common and elegant artic enjoyment.
There's a shop at the parking lot of Kaiyuan Temple, where they sell so many Chinese traditional crafts. My friend bought a huge dragon head there back to the US from there, which is only around 20USD. They sell a lot of different traditional hats too, which was owned by the queens only in the old time of China.