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Erasers become exquisite creations in Lu's hands

( ) 2014-12-30

Erasers have become exquisite stamps in the hands of Lu Ruiqing, a resident of Jiangqiao, Jiading district.

His rubber eraser stamps mimic the postal stamps of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) featuring scenes of doing eye exercises and patterns on White Rabbit candy packaging. They have earned him the nickname of "Flying Swordsman".

Lu has been working as a designer since graduation and is interested in all types of carving. When he came across a rubber eraser stamp with natural scenery carved on it, he was attracted to the craft and began to learn all he could about eraser carving.

"When he has time, he will search for rubber eraser stamp materials. It will take him about an hour to carve a complicated rubber eraser stamp," said Lu’s wife surnamed Xu. Lu’s first carving featured a little gecko. "When I just got started, I carved some simple patterns such as birds and cartoon figures. Later I started to learn more complicated things," Lu said.

When his son was two months old, he carved a stamp from his son's photo and printed it on the invitations to a birthday party.

In each work he creates, he aims for perfection. Once he wanted to carve a “God of Gate”, an image stuck on doors to dispel evil spirits in Chinese folk tradition. To find a genuine copy of the god he spent time doing research online and at libraries. "The more familiar the thing is to the public, the more careful I should be, or I will make a fool of myself. For example, the Fahua Pagoda in Jiading Old Town is seven stories high, but if I carved it as six stories, the carving will be a failure," Lu said.

Lu is most satisfied with his White Rabbit cream candy rubber stamp. During its creation, he chose four erasers in black, white, red and blue. “If there is an error of even one millimeter, the print created by the rubber stamp will have overlapping colors.

"I finally succeeded after five or six tries," he said. In Lu’s study, there's a print of such a stamp, one candy is laid across another in bright colors, which makes the work three dimensional. Lu feels happy to have made such a beautiful image of the candies that he has cherished since his childhood.

When asked whether he would make money from making rubber stamps, since he has the technique and has made many creations, Lu’s answer is no.

He has always been against allowing his craft to be commercialized. "Without inspiration or ideas to innovate, I would possibly be a ‘slave’ to earn money for businessmen," Lu said.



Jiading Fahua Pagoda

The Fahua Pagoda, 40.8 meters tall, is a square, brick-wood structure with seven stories, accessible by ladders.