Beijing Arts and Crafts Factory

Beijing Arts and Crafts Factory is a multiple-product handicraft factory in Beijing. It was built in 1960. At present, the factory has a staff of 1,300, of whom 700 are women. The main products of the factory are traditional Chinese crafts like jade carving, ivory carving, lacquer ware carving, cloisonne, dough figurines and wax ware in a dozen or so varieties. In addition, we also produce wooden stands and brocade caskets for our art products. The products are mainly for export and are sold to more than ninety countries and regions in the world.

Handicraft art in China has a long tradition. The carving of jade and ivory dates back to 3,000 years ago. While cloisonne has a history of more than 500 years.

Before liberation, handicraft art was done by individual craftsmen using backward methods. Life was so hard for them that their art was in a state of stagnation on the eve of liberation. After liberation, under the leadership of the Party and the people’s government, small co-operatives were organized in 1952 and handicraft art was restored and developed rapidly. Later, the factory was formed by the amalgamation of three co-operatives. We have inherited, reformed and developed the traditional arts, giving them new life and creating a large variety of products. For example, the vase which depicts the development of China’s steel industry follows the design of the Ming and Qing dynasties. Handicrafts showing China’s socialist construction or friendship with the people of other countries have also been produced, such as “The Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge,” “The Launching of a 10,000-Ton Freighter,” “The Flowers of Friendship Bloom Among Table Tennis Players,” and “A Tour to the Great Wall. ” They are all large ivory carvings. “A Tour to the Great Wall” depicts an excursion of the foreign friends to the Great Wall. It symbolizes that the friendship between the Chinese people and people of the world is as everlasting as the Great Wall. Several pieces are based on famous buildings in the world, such as the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Pyramids of Egypt, the Korean Qianlima and the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Sometimes, we combine the skills of different kinds of arts in a single item. For instance, “The Dragon and Flower Incense Burner” is a combination of filigree, jade and lacquer carving on the main body of a cloisonne article. We have made some progress, yet there are still problems to be tackled.

The quality of some of our products is not up to the standard and the artistry needs to be improved. To serve the people of China and the world better, we are doing our best to make further improvements based on the comments and suggestions from customers both at home and abroad.

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