The Art of Chop Engraving
In China, from ancient times to the present, from official government business to private affairs, no matter how important or trivial, your chop affixes your credit and your promise. After signing your name, your chop is still required for a document to be legally binding. Name chops are also the constant companions of Chinese calligraphers and painters. Artists follow the custom of stamping their works with their name chops to “sign" them and as proof of authenticity. Despiteits small role in the life of a Chinese. Name chops are engraved by hand. Through the technique of carving, name chops combine the beauty of written Chinese characters and line drawing. A name chop produces virtually the same image of the same characters of figures no matter how many times it is used, and so can be considered a forerunner of one of the our great inventions of the Chinese printing (the other three being the compass, gunpowder, and papermaking). Its importance cannot be underestimated. A great chop maker must be a calligrapher, competent, engraver, and creative artist capable of composing the individual characters into a harmonious design.