The Best Model

As you learn to cut side inscriptions (邊款 biankuan) on your seal stone be sure to pick the best models to copy from—just as you would if learning calligraphy. Choose from the best of the old seal carvers like Wu Changshuo, Ding Jing, etc. rather than copying from the work of a modern seal carver. Also look for a model that includes a transcription in regular script printed alongside the rubbing from the original side inscription. This transcription can be very helpful in figuring out which, often abbreviated, character is being used. And, again as in models for calligraphy, look for the best possible printed models—it’s hard to copy from a blurry illustration in a poorly printed book.

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