Seal carving promotes Confucian culture
Kong Fu Yin Ge, a seal workshop in Qufu, Jining, has been focused on seal carving art since its establishment in 1956, and makes seals to promote the local culture industry.
The workshop is located in Linqian community, which is near the Three Confucius Sites – the Temple of Confucius, the Cemetery of Confucius and the Kong Family Mansion.
Overwhelmed with the genuine ambience of Confucian culture, local villagers mostly specialize in traditional handicrafts including wood carving, seal carving, and traditional Chinese clothing making. However, seal carving is the most popular.
In 2000, more than 200 households in Linqian community worked in the seal carving industry and half of the locals have prospered from the business, said Tian Baobing, deputy director of the local residents' committee.
In the past, the seals mainly featured people's names, and some contained auspicious sayings, idioms and poems.
To catch up with the times, the workshop now produces creative seals, such as those for newly-weds and others with zodiac signs.
"A seal carver shall not only master the basic carving skills, but also has a deep understanding of literature and aesthetics," said Zhang Guoliang, chief seal carver at the workshop.
The workshop made its way online in 2008 and has opened more than 106 online shops thanks to e-commerce.
Its seal products make up one-third of the domestic market, and more than 10 million seals are sold each year, with an annual sales revenue of 180 million yuan ($25.85 million).