Thursday, May 1, 2014

Having Fun With Chops

Recently my friend and I got chops made in Hong Kong. Another friend who lives there took us to Man Wah Lane, a narrow street lined with people making chops in little kiosks. Only one man was willing to create chops for us the same day. We selected our characters from a large dictionary of styles and he later delivered the carved seals to the hotel. In Kyoto we bought lovely cases to house our chops. In Asia, historically, a seal was more official than a signature. I remember my first chop purchased in Japan was simple, and consisted of my last name. Now, I like to get chops made with just the first initial of my first name in Japanese: 華 (Hana). I've had chops made in Hong Kong and Vietnam. I often add a chop next to my signature on my artwork.