Portrait of the Artist: Jun Pei Cui

Every weekend, Jun Pei Cui sets up a little table with a very powerful table lamp outside the Museum Store at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco. Jun Pei Cui is a Master Seal Maker, and author of the book ‘The Art of the Seal‘.

I watched him at work on a small square seal. First he helped his customer choose an uncarved stone base for the seal: a long ‘stick’ of soapstone with a square or round end, and a carved top. Then he asked what the seal should say. This seal had a young girls name on it. After making a quick little sketch, Jun Pei Cui ¬†got to work carving away between the letters for the next hour. I assumed he’d have to transfer the pattern onto the base as a reference, and was amazed that he didn’t- instead, this Master Seal Maker just looked up from the soapstone block every so often at the little sketch before him and carved away. Once the piece was almost done, he dipped it in vermilion ink and tested it. A few more finishing touches and the seal was ready. I asked Jun Pei Cui to stamp the seal on my sketch. You can see it on the right of my sketch. He said it was a simple seal.

And when he was done, I asked him to make me one. Next week, I get my own seal I can stamp on my sketches!

About Suhita Shirodkar

obsessive-sketcher. graphic designer.
This entry was posted in california, Close to home, people, Portrait and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Portrait of the Artist: Jun Pei Cui

  1. monteiro.hf says:

    Great story and drawing

  2. Very cool! Love your sketch and the story is great. I love the concept of a seal. A lot of potters make a seal with their symbol or initials that they call a chop, to impress on their work. My chop was a snail. Can’t wait to see what your seal looks like!

  3. Jude says:

    Loved your story and sketch. I’ve seen these imprints on some artists drawings and have wondered what they were…now I know! Thanks.

  4. Efi says:

    Great artist spotlight!
    Your gorgeous blog filled with so many beautiful things to see.What adventures you’re having and what lovely sketches. Thank you so much for sharing.

  5. Jaci says:

    This is so cool! Let us know when you get yours :)

  6. will says:

    Great work! Enjoyed reading this…

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