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Foundations of creativity on straw

Updated: 2023-12-16 12:06 ( China Daily )
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Xu has delivered many sorghum straw artworks over the years, such as a dragon boat.[Photo provided to China Daily]

"The extensive tenon-and-mortise structures all need to be manually grooved and fitted, taking several months or even one to two years to complete," he says.

Additionally, all the beams and columns are straightened after being individually heated over an alcohol lamp.

"It's the only way that every door and window installed can open and close properly, ensuring a neat final work," Xu says.

The sorghum straw art adheres to strict standards from raw material selection to production.

Xu has cultivated over 3 mu (2,000 square meters) of sorghum in his farmland, and selects those of the highest quality to create straw works when they mature.

"The sorghum stalks range from the finest at 1.8 millimeters to the thickest at 12 mm. Almost every piece involves hundreds of crafting steps," Xu says.

He doesn't waste the leftover scraps either, as he turns them into windmills.

"In the eyes of many, sorghum straw is merely an agricultural waste, but through the creativity of craftsmen, it can be turned into a treasure, being transformed into exquisite works of art," Xu says.

Xu has a long scar on his right thumb due to an accident, as if a testament to the challenges of the craft.

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