Archives for posts with tag: clay toy

clay toy

W50xD20xH80mm, China

Clay toys, like Disney toy, often take the form of a famous character, be it from a movie or an opera.  This figurine is Hu San Niang, one of the three female warriors on Mount Liang in the novel “Water Margin”.  Hu was the daughter of  a powerful family, not only is she beautiful she is also well trained in military.  After many victories for the family she was captured by the warriors of Mount Liang (108 outlaws that do good for the people) and soon she joined in and became the 59th warrior.


clay toyW150xD40xH200mm, China

Characters from the Beijing Opera (which is a collection of legendary stories in itself) are made into toys.  I suppose the its no difference now with Buzz Lightyear and the Woody action character, an hero friend you can keep in the pocket.

This is Guan Yu, the hot blooded general of Liu Bei in the Three Kingdoms era (200BC), the character is made popular by the historic novel “Romance of the Three Kingdoms” (published 1350) where he is described as 9 feet tall with a 2 feet long beard, a date colour face and red lips, eyes of a phoenix, silkworm like eyebrow and above all loyal and dignify.

Not only is he a favorite character for the kids,  he can also liked by the adults, taking on the role as the God of Wealth.  In praise for his loyalty, in Hong Kong Guan Yu is also worshiped by the police and Triads alike.

L50xW20xH50mm, China

The Chinese name for this cute little chicken is “the loud crowing rooster” which was originated from the “rooster crowing pillow”.  The rooster shaped pillow was believe to offer blessing to the child; better sleep and a wiser child.  The Chinese believed that the rooster is responsible for pulling the sun out of the darkness, a god that extinguish the ghosts (rooster being associated with the sun and light while the ghosts with darkness).  Nowadays, the symbolic meaning of the rooster is faded, this is seen as rooster toy more than a protector symbol.

W50xD40xH100mm, China

This is the clay toy of  Dah A Fu, we have previous talked about his story in an early post “Clay Toy A-Fu“.  Most of the A-Fu figurine have him seated, this is an unusual version, but from his accessories we can determined that he is A-Fu.  On his head, he is wearing peony (a symbol of wealth), the costume is the five fok jacket (a symbol of ease and comfort), around his neck is a locket (a symbol of longevity).  In the seated version, he is also hugging a lion with green fur (a symbol of protection from evil) and wearing a pair of court shoes (successful in the court examination).  All the wishes from the parents to the child are projected onto the figurine.

W100xH120mm, China

Apology for not blogging for the last few days.  The blog is back on again!

Knife-Horse-Man is the name for artifice whose subject is based on war based stories or opera.  K-H-M can be found in paintings, illustration of ceramics down to folk toys like these.  Some of the clay K-H-M figures can be as tall as 600mm, it is believed that they are able to protect the household.

W40xL80xH80mm, China

Clay toys are a popular folk toy, they are affordable and has a certain naive and child like expression.  Wonder how these clay toy are made?  The clay from 2m under ground are usually used (they are easily available,  higher in plasticity and with less impurity).  The  dug up clay is sun dried then crushed down with a mallet.  The fine clay sieved out into a dish and soaked with water for a several days.  The semi wet clay is lay on a stone slab; after a sprinkle of water, it is pounced with a mallet, this process is repeated several time until the clay is not sticking to the slab, then form a cube with the clay.  Slabs are cut out with a wire and then into coil.  The coils are pressed onto a 2 pieces mould (the mould are dusted with dried clay powder for ease of case removal), the 2 parts of the mould are then joined together and joined together with additional coil from the inside, then the bottom is sealed off.  The mould is released and the clay toy is left to dried before colouring.  The base colour of the Chinese clay toy are normally white, with a few line to pick up the details.

H100x W50xD20mm, China

A clay monkey toy with the figure of mother and baby monkey painted on.  The figurine is made from 2 pieces of clay joined together by a piece of sheep skin.  When flexing it will make a sound of a monkey.  This is a traditional toy for kids.  (US$4)

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