by Yuya Zhou / in MATERIAL & TECHNIQUE RELATED / on 01/30/2022


Zhi Zha technique, originating from the ancient folk religious worship activities, has gradually become a decorative art to celebrate festivals. In the Ming and Qing Dynasties, it spread throughout urban and rural areas.

These paper binding products take bamboo, wood, thread, and paper as the main materials. Artists use bamboo and wood to make the skeleton, bind the different sections with thread, and paste colored paper for decoration.

Zhi Zha technique is a folk art that integrates binding, pasting, paper cutting, clay sculpture, color painting, and other skills.

Intrigued by Zhi Zha technique, I wonder if it is possible to adapt the theory of Zhi Zha technique and apply the theory by using another material.

In my perspective, Zhi Zha should not just be seen as decorative art. The hollowed linear structure, lightweight bamboo skeleton, creative shape forming, and beautiful painting on the surface can turn ZhiZha into a more structural technique.

Coincidentally, I found a video from Youtube called Bending Veneer Against the Grain that was made by Javad Shadzi. In his video, he show the process to bend veneer against (bend perpendicular to the grain) the grain about a 1.25” radius using an iron and the PVA glue technique.

Briefly, Javad applies the wood glue on both veneer and the woodblock, waits till the glue is totally dry. He uses an iron, sets the temperature between medium and high, places the veneer on the woodblock in the right orientation, and then presses the iron on the veneer to the woodblock. The dried glue melts and combines the two attaching surfaces tightly.

I bought a package of reed coil to replace the bamboo, and used thin veneer to replace the paper. I tried the same gluing technique from the video: Both the reed coil and the veneer were painted with wood glue. I utilized a heated iron to compress the veneer to the reed coil after the wood glue was settled.

It worked really well! The veneer was attached to the reed coil no matter how exaggerated I bent the reed coil.

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