Dao An is the inheritor of the Chengdu silver filigree craftsmanship, listed as one of the national intangible cultural heritages. Dao began to learn the skills of making silver filigree when she was 18, and she has been working on it for 40 years.
The silver filigree craftsmanship, which dates back to more than 1,700 years ago, has a very complicated process. It requires 12 steps, including silver material purification, wire drawing, manual stranding, welding, and color washing.
Dao has exerted great influence on her daughter Wang Xiaolu since she was young. Wang has been engaged in inheriting and developing the skills of making silver filigree after she graduated from the university. She is responsible for jewelry design.
"In the beginning, my mother and experienced craftspeople in the studio were not able to accept my ways of design. But when many friends around me saw the silver filigree jewelry I was wearing and started to pay attention to the craftsmanship, their concept gradually changed," Wang said.
In addition to the complicated process, the skills of making silver filigree also involve many fields of knowledge such as chemistry, metallurgy and mechanical processing. Currently, only Dao herself is able to complete all the processes.
Dao said that although more and more people are coming to learn about the silver filigree, there are still only 15 craftspeople in the studio. She hopes that more young people are willing to learn the skills in the future.
(Source: Xinhua /Translated and edited by Women of China)June 16, 2020