Art Imitating Life, Life, Illustration, 19th century silk production.

Illustration

19th century silk production.

Art Imitating Life, Life, Illustration, 19th century opium production.

Illustration

19th century opium production.
Notice the western merchant observing the process.

Art Imitating Life, Life, Tomb releif, Salt mining was a major industry in Sichuan province. Wells, such as the one on the lower left comer, were drilled to extract brine which was led through bamboo pipes to evaporation pans (lower right).

Tomb releif

Salt mining was a major industry in Sichuan province. Wells, such as the one on the lower left comer, were drilled to extract brine which was led through bamboo pipes to evaporation pans (lower right).

Art Imitating Life, Life, Ming dynasty woodcut, The process of making paper, step 1.

Ming dynasty woodcut

The process of making paper, step 1.
Chinese paper comes from bamboo.
Bamboo stalks are gathered and their leaves and smaller branches removed.

Art Imitating Life, Life, Ming dynasty woodcut, The process of making paper, step 2.

Ming dynasty woodcut

The process of making paper, step 2.
The gathered bamboo is then boiled in water with heavy rocks (to maintain consistent heat distribution) for three days.
This process reduces the bamboo to hair-like fibers.

Art Imitating Life, Life, Ming dynasty woodcut, The process of making paper, step 3.

Ming dynasty woodcut

The process of making paper, step 3.
The boiled bamboo mixture, called a slurry, is then set to cool inside the studio in a large, brick tub.
A specialist then dips a frame of silk screen into the tub, extracting a thin layer of slurry. A large portion of water goes through the screen and back into the tub.

Art Imitating Life, Life, Ming dynasty woodcut, The process of making paper, step 4.

Ming dynasty woodcut

The process of making paper, step 4.
The screens are stacked and set to partially dry in the studio.
When the screens are about half dry, the thin layer of slurry, now partially paper, is dumped from the screen onto a table, where paper from the other screens will form a stack.

Art Imitating Life, Life, Ming dynasty woodcut, The process of making paper, step 5.

Ming dynasty woodcut

The process of making paper, step 5.
When the stack has dried by another half, it is taken outside and hung onto the walls of the studio to completely dry.
The resulting product is paper. For larger size paper, several pieces are set to dry with their edges overlapping.

Art Imitating Life, Life, Illustration, 19th century silk production.
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Art Imitating Life, Life, Illustration, 19th century opium production.
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Art Imitating Life, Life, Tomb releif, Salt mining was a major industry in Sichuan province. Wells, such as the one on the lower left comer, were drilled to extract brine which was led through bamboo pipes to evaporation pans (lower right).
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Art Imitating Life, Life, Ming dynasty woodcut, The process of making paper, step 1.
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Art Imitating Life, Life, Ming dynasty woodcut, The process of making paper, step 2.
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Art Imitating Life, Life, Ming dynasty woodcut, The process of making paper, step 3.
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Art Imitating Life, Life, Ming dynasty woodcut, The process of making paper, step 4.
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Art Imitating Life, Life, Ming dynasty woodcut, The process of making paper, step 5.
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