Four Famous Brands of Ink Brush in China四大有名的中国毛笔品牌
Ink brushes (毛笔máo bǐ) are used in Chinese calligraphy. They are also used in Chinese painting and descendant brush painting styles. There are four basic famouse writing brush's brands in China.
Ink Brush Produced in Zhejiang Province's Huzhou(湖州毛笔Húzhōu Máobǐ)
The writhing brush produced in Huzhou, ink stick from Huizhou in Anhui Province, ink stone from Duanxi, Gaoyao country in Guangdong Province, and xuan paper, are regarded as the "four treasures of the study" in China.
The Huzhou writing brush falls into four categories--the first made of goat hair which has very flexible features, second of brownish rabbit hair, third of weasel hair with stiff characteristics, and the fourth a mixture of goat and weasel hair, which is neither too flexible nor too stiff.
The workmanship is exquisite and complicated, as it contains more than 120 processes from selecting materials to the finished products.
These brushed are specially good both for painting and calligraphy. The most famous brands include Yulanrui, Lantingsan, Youjunshufa and Cuihengchun, because the shaft of these brushes is usually made either with red sandalwood or mottled bamboo, white porcelain or even with ivory. Thus, they are regarded as the best-quality brushes and the most exquisite handicrafts.
Xuan Ink Brush(泾县毛笔Jīngxiàn Máobǐ)
The xuan writing brush, together with the famous xuan paper, is made in Jingxian County, Anhui Province. In ancient times, Jingxian County was under the jurisdiction of Xuanzhou Prefecure, from where the product got its name.
Scholars in the Jin Dynasty(256-420) were specially fond of the xuan writing brush. During the Tang (618-907) and Song (960-1279) dynasties, Xuanzhou became a writing brush manufacturing center, and the xuan writing brush was listed as a tribute for the use of emperors.
At that time, folk artisans also made a breakthrough in craftsmanship, selecting materials and in polishing the shaft. Brushes were sharp-pointed, neatly cut, plump and smooth at the tip. Artists could write and draw freely as they wished by using these brushes combining stiffness and flexibility. The xuan brushes elaborately made of brownish rabbit hair are the best and thus command an extremely high price.