Liu Lanfang Gansu, China

Gansu Qingyang embroidery master. In 2011, she received an honorable award from the Ministry of Culture for her active participation in preserving traditional arts and crafts.

Liu Lanfang is a student of Gansu Province's folk art master craftsman Guangpu Wang and Chinese footwear production inheritor Guanqin Wang. She is skilled at the variety of embroidery stitching methods, and is recognized as the leading Qingyang sachet embroiderer with a unique style. Her “Silk Road” figure series received a silver medal on the 2014 China International Tourism Products Fair. Her masterpiece “Zodiac Shoes”, was hailed as the “Most Popular” on the 2014 China Qingyang Sachet Folk Culture Festival.

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Q

The most memorable thing

A

I can never forget having Kang Ling, a hearing-and-speech-impaired girl, as my apprentice. Her mother brought her to me thrice. Kang Ling can neither read nor write. To teach her to make sachets I first had to teach her how to sign. I teach her between five to ten words daily, including frequently used vocabulary related sachets such as flowers, grass and fish among other daily terms. She has a very agile mind and deft hands, and is able to communicate with me in no time.

I had my former hearing-and-speech-impaired colleagues to thank for my sign language. It is therefore no difficult task to teach Kang Ling. What is more difficult was teaching her to read. However, once she has learnt something she progresses fast. She becomes proficient in sewing in a little over a year, in flower drawing in two years and in colour matching in her fourth year of learning. She also does good simple design. She is my favourite apprentice.

Q

Special connotations of patterns on Qingyang sachets

A

The auspicious patterns on the sachets, such as mandarin ducks sewn on sachets to the loved ones signify never to leave or forsake till old age, while the decorative lotuses on the side signify pure love.

Q

Greatest wish

A

My greatest wish is that the handicraft of Qingyang sachets may be passed down from generation to generation. My mother has acquired the skill hoping that all her loved ones could wear or carry accessories or clothing she has personally sewn with good wishes to keep them safe. I hope that such great motherly love could be passed on uninterrupted.

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