Life in the Village and beyond, based around the interests of my life.

Life in the Village and beyond, based around the interests of my life. Sunset at Telegraph Point.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Woodwork in Southern China - Old and New Part 3

It is hard to be a woodworker on holiday, and not notice aspects of woodworking wherever one looks.  Not so much a case of can't see the wood for the trees, more like missing the bigger picture because of the details.

But I simply couldn't help myself.

Traditional pinned through-tenon construction.

Here is an excellent example.

There are dozens of woodwork features in this Miao dwelling and the wall is a wooden wonder, but for some reason, all I saw were the pinned through-tenons.  And they kept popping up as a tried and true method of joinery.

Here they are again featured in the granary buildings that store the village rice.  Because a high percentage of the village is made of timber, fire is a major worry.

The granaries are protected somewhat by being situated above water, and this is also meant to deter rodents.

Even the granary doors are held locked by a combination of through tenon joinery, and a wedge.

More through tenons here. The corn is from last year's harvest and has been dried under the wide eaves.  It is used to feed the animals.

Here the lads are assembling a window frame.  Yep - you guessed it - double through tenons.  This was taking place in the late afternoon.  By early next morning, the masonary wall had been partly demolished and the window was in place.

Even in the cities, the older buildings  have a well worn charm about them.
This is something that newer constructions have tried to emulate.  Often, though, there seems to  be an underlying principle of enhancing new construction so that .........too much is barely enough ...

Southern China is such a fabulous place, with so much ethnic diversity.  This is reflected in all aspects of the cultures of the region - only one of which is the woodwork.
But what a feast for the senses of everyone who loves wood ......

Love life .... and live........

1 comment:

  1. Tom having moved into the satellite suburbs of Green Valley during the early 60's as a kid I recall watching tradesman & labours building the Housing commission homes. Hand tools maybe a circular saw to build the wood structures, cabinets, fit interior floors and sundry. These days all is pre-assembled brought on the back of a truck and up in days. No wonder kids these days do not see tradesmen work get enthusiasm. Thanks for sharing your trip and their lifestyle and culture and means.