Four treasures of the study
In the old days ,one needs paper,ink stick,Chinese brush and ink stone to write or paint. They are called “ four treasures of the study”
There are a great number of varieties of them,and the best known ones are the paper of Xuancheng, the ink stick of Huizhou ,the Chiense brush of Huzhou and the ink stone of Duanxi
The best paper used for writing or painting with a Chinese brush is called Xuan paper since it was produced in a place near Xuancheng in Anhui Province. Being high quality paper,it was used as a tribute to the emperor early in the Tang Dynasty(618-907). Xuan paper is white,smooth,refined,even,soft,resilient and absorbent. As soon as the ink touches the paper it quickly seeps in,which can best present the characteristics of Chinese calligraphy and painting. As Xuan paper can be preserved for a long time without decay or change of color,and is insect proof,many ancient calligraphic works and traditional Chinese paintings have been preserved intact for several hundred years or even a thousand years
Chinese calligraphers and artists paid particular attention to the quality of the ink stick. The best ink stick is produced in Huizhou, Anhui Province. It was first produced in the Tang Dynasty more than a thousand years ago. Some Chinese medicine and perfume or even gold flakes are mixed into the materials in order to make better inck stick. Ink made by such a stick is articularly black with some fragrance. Ink sticks made in Huizhou can still be used after scores of years.
The production and use of the Chinese brush can be dated back several thousand years. A Chinese brush is made primarily of hairs from a beast and a small bamboo pipe. It takes 70 processing methods to make a good Chinese brush. Tens of thousands of hairs of a sheep,rabbit or weasel have to be chosen one by one and bound together to make the brush. The best –known Chinese brush is manufactured in Huzhou, Zhejiang Provincek,which produce more than 200 types.
The ink stone is used for grinding the ink stick in order to make ink. The ink stone has a history of 3 000 years in China. Ink stones produced in Duanxi, Shexian Country. Taohe River and Henan, Heibei and Shanxi provinces are the best- known types. Ink produced on an ink stone of Duanxi takes less time to prepare and will not easily dry up. In ancient times,the ink stone of Danxi was not only precious artistic object but also a tribute to the emperor