DIY Jade at Lu-Fung Jade Workshop, Hualien, Taiwan
My mum and her auntie pattern. Haha.
After Jade hunting at Baibao creek shared in the previous post, we went to Lu Fung Jade Workshop (如豐琢玉工坊) nearby to have our raw jade made into accessories. If you didn’t bring your own Jade, you can also pick some rough ones at the workshop to try DIYing your own jade accessories at a fee. You get to take them home.
This workshop is funded by the government to retain the heritage of jade booming industry back in the 1920s – 1940s. Back then, Taiwan jade was mined by the Japanese and was extremely famous around the world. In the town where Baibao creek is, many families survived on Jade crafts and the town was prospering. But after years of prosperity, the town got complacent and the industry died. In order to preserve this part of the history, the government support Lu Fung Jade workshop which allowed visitors to learn more on Jade processing.
Above is a quick recap of what we picked!
Here’s how to differentiate a jade versus a rock, jade allows light to penetrate!
There are five steps in the process.
Step 1: Cutting them to reveal more details and characteristics of the raw jade. In the above picture, the raw jade is huge and that is the size you will pick when you go after Typhoon season!
Remember the big green one we picked? The Jade craft master cut it into half to reveal the jade inside. Isn’t it amazing? What looks like a rough rock revealed the beauty of the jade inside! The master advised us to keep the jade as per the way it is. After cutting it into halves, it looks like a rugged jade mountain paperweight.
Step 2 & 3: It involves the designing and cutting of the rock to the desired shape.
Step 4: Smoothing out the jade using sand paper like material. This is really tough! While trying it out, I hear my fingers getting scratched!
We are not very good students. We really suck at it. Haha.
Trying hard to focus on it but still sucks.
Gave up and got the master to do it!
Step 5: Polishing and Buffering the jade using horse skin. This step we left it entirely to the master as it requires great technique and tolerance for heat!
Step 6: Assembling and adding finishing touch.
That’s my final product! A teardrop shape keepsake! The transformation is amazing! There is a Chinese Proverbs which goes
“玉不琢不成器，人不学不成才” which is translated as “Jade must be carved and polished before it becomes an ornament, man must be educated before he can achieve great things.” and yes, isn’t it true!