Figurines and flowers were molded with colored dough. The handicraft has been handed down to this day.
Dough modeling originated from the old custom of molding and steaming dough food as sacrificial offerings or birthday presents. Nearly every family in the city molded dough pieces during the Spring Festival. They looked nice and tasted good, representing a splendid harvest and wishes for good luck. They were also toys for children. Today, dough-modeling handicraftsmen have improved their techniques and turned the products into visual artworks.
Food was well shaped during the Tang Dynasty. Pastry with decorative patterns was available in those days. Dough modeling originated from the processing of food.
China is a large agricultural country. One can depict her history and culture through dough, a special material of plastic arts. Most motifs of dough modeling are figures from Chinese novels, traditional operas and folk legends. Handicraftsmen make lifelike figurines, which are short, but the individual characters and appearances are vividly portrayed.
Dough modeling is done from the inside to the outside and from top to bottom. To make the dough model a beautiful woman, such as Chang’e flying to the moon, you first mould the face and headdress. Then mould the nude body. Put on her underskirt and outer skirt. Then put on her underwear and outer garments. Finally put on ornaments, flowers and colorful ribbons.