By now you should be familiar with Simon Heaths woodworking skills which is quickly earning him the tag of a master craftsman, but the art of carving wooden sculptures has a history going back centuries.

Back in the olden days, artists used chisels, hammers, knives, gouges, etc., to carve out imagery on the surface of the wood. This was a time-consuming process. Today, modern tools allow for much faster, precise, and minute carvings. But whatever tools are used, the creation of a wooden sculpture usually follows a similar process.

While Simon has honed his craft on smaller works of art, we thought we would take a look over a much larger piece. The sculpture in question held the title of 'the longest wooden carving' in the Guinness World Records until 2019. 

Along The River During the Qingming Festival is one of China's most famous paintings and they brought it to life in a stunning 40-foot wooden carving. It was engraved on the trunk of a thousand-year-old camphor tree by sculptor Zheng Chunhui. 

Zheng's intricate carving, billowing willow trees, boats, tiny houses and lively crowds of more than 550 individually carved civilians offer viewers a cinematic and detailed view into the country's rich heritage and ancient civilisation flowering along the riverbank.

As suggested by the title, the bustling commercial scene takes place during the 'Qingming Festival', a grave-sweeping festival that comes in April, 100 days after the winter solstice. 

It took Zheng and his team of 35 artists more than four years to complete the piece in 2013. Measuring at 12 metres (40 feet) in length.

This rather impressive 30 tonne display can be viewed at a museum in Putian, in Southeast China's Fujian province.

The Guinness World Record for the longest carving is currently held by Robert Wyskiel and Miasto Hel of Poland. But we prefer Zheng's as the detail is far superior.



April 01, 2022

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