Chinese Scroll Making Tools

It’s been said that a craftsmen is only as good as the tools he carries. This is equally true for the Chinese scroll maker. Without the proper tools he may needlessly spend hours toiling to no avail. Correct tools do not automate the process, which still requires a lot of manual labor, but they do speed it along. Proper tools in the hand of a an astute worker can help turn out beautiful cultural pieces like some of our handmade Chinese art scrolls.

Below are some pictures of Chinese scroll tools which you may find on display at a number of museums around the country.

Chinese scroll brushes

Tools for work: White soft wool brushes are for wetting the rice paper art and the backing paper with glue. The southern palm brush on the right is thinner while the northern palm brush is thicker. The modern style brush can be seen on top. The scroll making process is tedious and incorrect tools can ruin the scroll.

Tools for making ancient Chinese scrolls

From top to bottom, left to right: ancient knives, awl, tweezers (using tweezers is preferable to hands so that the art is protected), and wax (for waxing the back of the completed scroll to make it water-proof).

More tools for Chinese art scrolls

  Cobble stone (for pressing the paper together), alum (melted in glue to repel insects and prevent the damage they could cause), wooden roller handles, jade roller ends, dye (for touching up the art for damage occurs in the scroll), cords for hanging.

Now that you know the Chinese scroll tools, learn more about the art of Chinese calligraphy.