Cork carving, the magic of miniature landscape art

Can you imagine a piece of bland wood can be turned into countless shapes?
It can be a shadowed pine forest, grass and boulders, or a pavilion or a lonely mountain.
Like a miniature world, flowers, birds and animals are born between the square inches, forming a fairyland.


Table of Contents

1. What is cork carving

Cork carving, also known as cork sculpture, is a traditional Chinese folk carving craft, as well as a national intangible cultural heritage of China.
It is mainly produced in Fujian, China. It is a “carving”, “painting” combination of handicrafts. The color tone is pure and simple, the carving is detailed, the image is realistic, and it is good at reproducing ancient Chinese pavilions and gardens, making people feel like they are in the real world. It is known as “silent poetry, three-dimensional painting” and “Oriental art treasures”.

Cork carving 7
Cork carving 2
Cork carving 6

The cork carvings are taken from nature, and the inspiration for the paintings also comes from nature. The artistic proposition of harmonious coexistence between life and nature is expressed by the wonderful craft.

The production process of cork carving is extremely delicate and complicated.
Thousands of leaves, each door and window, are carefully carved by the hands of artisans, individually carved and then carefully assembled, in order to achieve each small scene. The thinnest and finest point to reach 0.05mm, but also to ensure uniform thickness! The artisan’s skill is extremely tested.


Each cork carving is not easy to come by. In order to produce a cork painting, the craftsmen put a lot of effort into the selection of the material from the very beginning. The quality, texture, and color of the cork affect the effect of the painting, and only about 100 pounds of raw cork can be selected from 2 tons. Behind the choice of materials is the concept of advocating the beauty of nature and the pursuit of art based on materials.

Because the raw material of cork diao’k is so soft and flexible, cork paintings cannot be carved by machines instead of by hand, and only traditional hand tools can be used. But also, unlike industrial reproductions, each cork painting is full of spirituality!

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2. The history of cork carving

More than 100 years ago, a flexible and lightweight wooden New Year’s card from Europe flowed into Fuzhou, and wood carver Wu Qiqi and others began to research and create the unique Fuzhou cork painting. After much searching, the craftsmen locked the material with cork oak, which originated from the Mediterranean coastal countries. The cork oak tree can be made of cork, with a soft texture, fine texture, soft tone and other characteristics.


However, the craftsmen cut the cork into thin slices with excellent skills, and carved out the flowers, trees, pavilions, etc. with Chinese aesthetic flavor in accordance with the composition and modeling of traditional Chinese paintings, and then pasted these elements in accordance with the landscape of Chinese gardens, creating a “silent poem, three-dimensional painting”. –Cork carving.

3. Cork carving techniques

Although the cork carving technique originated from the wood carving process, the main material selection, production tools, production processes and artistic effects are very different. Cork carving techniques connotation is the pursuit of “craft painting art”. The cork painting tool is compared to the brush of painting, although it is a metaphorical statement, but the image speaks of the outstanding characteristics of cork painting techniques.

Cork carving on the choice of the main material is very strict, mainly by Portugal and other countries imported cork oak cork bark layer, because its material is fine and soft, flexible, impermeable, impermeable, non-flammable, corrosion-resistant, wear-resistant and other advantages, and the surface has a fine natural pattern and pinhole size texture, more suitable for cutting into thin slices of material for modeling carving.

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Cork carving production process is delicate and complex, requiring a total of dozens of processes, but the overall can be divided into five stages.

Stage 1: Modeling

Clearly identify the type of work is a flat frame or three-dimensional screen or desk ornaments, and clearly identify the specific size of the work.

Stage 1 Modeling
Stage 2 Drawing finalization

Stage 2: Drawing finalization

Scrupulously and accurately depict all the shapes of the work screen, including marking the perspective space level, as well as the font and position of the screen inscription text and seal graphics, etc.

Stage 3: Making parts

Choose suitable main and auxiliary materials such as cork and through-grass to make all the parts of the work.

Stage 3 Making part
Stage 4 Set Assembly

Stage 4: Set Assembly

This is the key stage of the process, requiring the parts to be assembled and completed one by one in strict accordance with the finalized design drawings.

Stage 5: Frame packaging

The whole work is completed with the frame and packaging.

Stage 5 Frame packaging

Since a cork carving is often assembled from dozens or even hundreds of tiny parts, making a cork painting is a more delicate job than embroidery, and always requires the careful cooperation of several people to complete.

4. Inheritance and innovation of cork carving

Cork carving inheritors, around the “heritage and innovation. The new generation represented by the inheritor Guo Li, from the focus on fashion, but also consider the practicality of a hundred years of inherited craft in a new way.

Firstly, she innovatively blends the art of cork carving with traditional Chinese painting and calligraphy, close to the aesthetic orientation of modern people.

Second, they open up new ways to integrate cork painting into life, the traditional cork painting and household items perfectly integrated together, exquisite and beautiful shape to win the favor of young people.

Third, the inheritors explore the direction of lightweight and portable product design, effectively solving the problems of transport and price of cork carving.

Fourth, they combine cork painting with stone carving and porcelain to innovate and launch new cultural and creative products.

Cork carving innovation is no longer superficial to change the style of the set, but to light up life with creativity.

Based on the many outstanding properties of cork, the cork can be made into cork fabrics, cork sports products, cork bags, etc., which are considered one of the best alternatives to leather.

Choose the right cork products to promote your low carbon sustainable project.

Natural Cork Leather

Colored Cork Fabric

Cork Yoga Products

Cork Bag


Cork Products Wholesale Can Be Easy & Safe.

cork leather-colored


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