Describe an art or craft activity you have done.
You should say:
When this happened
What you did in the activity
Who you did it with
And explain how you felt about this activity
1 What kinds of handicrafts are popular in China?
2 Do many people make handicrafts in China?
3 Why do many people send handicrafts as gifts?
An art activity that I did that I think is particularly interesting, is pottery. I had never done pottery before, until about a year ago, maybe actually just last summer, my friend Adam, who was a young Swedish student studying at Xi’an Normal University, said that he had found a craft workshop not far from the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, on a street of tea and art shops. I went along with him, thinking it was a bit of a strange idea, but kind of interesting and fun. The workshop was full of potter’s wheels, and had a few instructors there. A potter’s wheel is basically a kind of seat, attached to a fairly big metal bucket with a metal disc wheel. There is a pipe of running water which you can control to some extent, and you get a huge lump of clay on the wheel. You use your feet to push the pedals which then make the wheel spin around. As the wheel spins around, and you are seated on the little seat in front of it, you can mould the lump of clay into a round shape. That’s how you make a vase or a pot or any round vessel. It’s pretty hard to explain! Anyway, myself and Adam did this for about an hour or so, with the instructor giving us advice about how to mould the clay, how fast to make the wheel go round and things like this. After we had made a round ball, which was almost perfect in form, he taught us how to use our fingers to create a hole in the middle, and then taught us how to use these small metal tools to shape the designs and patterns into the clay. It was pretty difficult to be honest, and the end result was… let’s say…a bit amateur. After that, we painted the pots with a clear glaze and they then went into a big oven called a kiln. The kiln cooks and dries the pots until they are completely dry and hard. This takes a couple of days on a slow heat, so we had to go back later in the week to check our pots. I felt that this was really fun and I’d like to do it again and develop a bit more skill and try to get better results.