Hong Jinquan polishing a silver bracelet photographed by Liu Honghe

Chaohu Lake, June 14 (Zhongxin Net) — Silver has been used in China for more than 4,000 years. Because of its beautiful silver-white color and excellent ductility, it is often used to create bracelets, rings, earrings and other accessories. Recently, the reporter came to Zhegao Town, located in Chaohu in Anhui Province, where there is an old silversmith who crafts silver jewelry by hand – Hong Jinquan, who inherits the silverware processing skills handed down from his ancestors more than a hundred years ago, and many of the silverware he has made still retains the style of the Qing Dynasty.

The created silver bracelet is further calcined Photo by Liu Honghe

When the reporter saw Hong Jinquan, the old man was using a ram’s horn hammer to “jingle” a silver ingot. “Handmade silver jewelry is very strong and durable, and because it is polished in matte, it looks better the more you wear it.” Hong Jinquan told reporters, “Anyway, I think the old craftsmanship still needs to be passed on.” ”

Hong Jinquan is pounding silver ingots Photo by Liu Honghe

At the age of 12, Hong Jinquan learned to make silver jewelry by hand from his father, and has been making silver jewelry for more than 50 years. He told reporters, “The most important thing about handmade silver jewelry is the temperature of the silver and the strength of the beating. With the same strength, the temperature of silver is too low to make it better extended, the temperature is too high, and the silver is easy to deform; In the same way, the same temperature, the intensity is particularly important. Take a silver bracelet as an example, from melting to modeling, and finally polishing, it has to go through seven or eight processes in between. ”

Hong Jinquan shows reporters the mold for making “long-life locks” Photo by Liu Honghe

Lao Hong skillfully operates every step: smelting, pounding, calcination, quenching, modeling, polishing, each step is meticulous, a piece of silver must be repeatedly pounded for 40 minutes to make it completely tough, become a suitable raw material for silverware. “Due to the impact of mechanization, coupled with the time-consuming and laborious processing of traditional old silverware, and the inability to make money, not many people have insisted on doing it.” Lao Hong said helplessly.

“Although a lot of jewelry on the market is made by machinery, it cannot replace the old craft of hand-crafting, which is left by my ancestors, I have worked all my life, and I don’t want it to be lost.” When talking about why he didn’t pass on his craft to his son, Lao Hong said with a little regret, “Young people don’t have this patience, and they can earn nearly 100 yuan a day by working outside, who wants to sit here every day and knock?” ”

Although the son did not inherit this traditional craft, the nephew of the family has inherited this craft in other cities, which makes Lao Hong a little comforted. At the end of the interview, the old man still did not stop his work, and the prosperity of life did not make him put down the horn hammer in his hand, and every beating was Lao Hong’s adherence to this traditional handicraft. (End)

Hong Jinquan is pounding silver ingots Photo by Liu Honghe

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