In ancient times, it was popular in China to make flour pastries for festival celebrations. The pastries were generally served as offerings for sacrifice services. This is the origin of dough sculptures.
The Yishui dough sculpture in Shandong Province is made of glutinous rice flour with different natural coloring materials . After being kneaded, rubbed, andlifted, it is cleverly cut, carved, and scratched with a small bamboo knife. The exquisite craftsmanship with vivid character forms and realistic landscape images earns it the title of “three-dimensional painting”.
Other main materials for dough sculptures are iron wire, screws, refined flour, salt, preservatives, sesame oil and various pigments. The dough sculptures made in this way have bright and lifelike colors, natural texture of skin and clothing, plus vivid facial expressions. They endure long-term moldiness, crack, deformation, and color fastness, which are the indispensable elements for long-time quality collection.