Silver filament artwork made by Dao An is displayed at her studio in Chengdu, southwest China's Sichuan Province, July 15, 2021. (Xinhua/Liu Kun)
Chengdu filamentary silver hovering art has a history of more than 1,700 years. It is dubbed as one of the "five golden flowers" of Chengdu's intangible cultural heritages, together with Shu embroidery, Shu brocade, lacquerware and bamboo weaving. In 2008, the art was inscribed on the national intangible cultural heritage list.
Dao An, 59, is an inheritor of the filamentary silver hovering art. She has been engaged in the artwork making for over 40 years. Dao had worked at the Chengdu gold and silver product factory after graduating from high school. In the beginning, Dao thought the beautiful art pieces were made in an elegant environment. To her surprise, craftsman had to deal with welding torch, high-temperature-resistant asbestos board, file, scissors, hammer and so on. They had to master the skills of metallurgy, machining and chemical reagent mixing.
In the late 1990s, Dao An set up her own studio. She made a profound study on the art and formed a standard of the making process.
In 2008, Dao's daughter Wang Xiaolu joined her. Wang tried to bring some more decorative and applicable functions to the art.
Now, Dao's studio has 12 apprentices. "I hope there will be more young people who are willing to learn and love the art," Dao said, "They will pass down this traditional skill with their new ideas."