French students experience charm of dough sculpting in Tai'an

( Updated: 2024-04-22


French students get a close look at the Taishan dough sculptures in Tai'an. [Photo provided to]

A group of young French students gained insights into Taishan dough sculpting during their visit to Daimiao street in Taishan district, Tai'an on April 17.

They learned about the history and development of Taishan dough sculpting and even got the chance to make their own clay sculptures.

Dough sculpting, commonly known as "pinched noodles", is a traditional folk art originating in Shandong province, Shaanxi province, and Beijing.

Taishan Shi's clay sculpting originated in the mid-Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) more than 200 years ago. It is currently listed as an intangible cultural heritage (ICH) of Shandong province.

Taishan Shi's dough sculpting is highly realistic, shaping basic forms through various techniques such as kneading, rubbing, layering, and twisting. Then, simple tools are used to add detail though technique such as cutting, dotting, and pinching.

Shi Hongling, a seventh-generation practitioner, explained the origin, materials, and methods of dough sculpting while also showcasing some of his completed dough sculptures, leaving the French students in awe.

During the sculpting process, students tried their hands at kneading and shaping the dough, following the demonstration of Shi, crafting rose-shaped sculptures.


French students try their hands at making rose-shaped dough sculptures in Tai'an. [Photo provided to]