Drunken Bobcat produces handcrafted Chinese stamps. Her designs are made from natural materials such as flowers, bugs, grass and stones.
We asked Pika a few questions about her work...
Why are you called drunken bobcat?
In Chinese bobcat means mountain and cat, and I like the mountains and cats and also enjoy getting drunk.
Can you tell us a little bit about your background. How did you get into making calligraphy stamps?
I studied painting and calligraphy in college, so in my calligraphy classes we also learnt how to make stamps. In addition to making them, we learn about their history, about which different styles were popular during various dynasties, and the use of different stamps. Although I found it very interesting, I was very bad at engraving the small stamps. When our graduation exhibition come around, every student had to show a series of engraved works, so instead of doing something that I am really bad at, I decided to make something new, different and more special.
You stamps are quite unique with you combining different materials. What is your process of making the stamp?
First, buy the stone and collect the flowers, knock the stone into half and put it into the mould. Then I use my imagination to think of the design , I carefully cut the appropriate flowers, place them in the mould, pour the resin, wait for it to dry, then the final part is the most difficult – polishing the piece!
You collect plants and flowers for your design, will the flowers ever decay and rot or are they preserved inside the stamp?
The collected plants and flowers have been dried before they are put into the stamps so I do not need to worry about them decaying or fading.
The colours you choose for each design are lovely they really complement each other; how did you choose to have this colour scheme? Did you always know these were the colour tones you wanted or have you experimented with others in the past?
Actually, because I use natural materials, there are not so many choices. The colour of the stone is different every time, but most of them are pink and vermilion. Occasionally, they will be grey, white or green. The plant materials we can get also vary different each time, so the production process is full of surprises and uncertainties, this is what makes it different to a manufactured product and this is why I think it is very interesting.