Drill for carving jade


On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 222

These steel drills with blunt points (zhuangding or dingzi 
in Chinese), flat heads (tuozi), or curving heads (wazi) are used for high relief carving, undercutting, and fine shaping of small jade works. The craftsman holds the jade in one hand against the drill, which is mounted on a spinning shaft. He or she rotates the shaft using foot treadles, while continuously applying abrasives, usually sand mixed with water, to the tip of the drill, which cuts the jade.

Drill for carving jade, Steel, China

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