Chinese Arts and Crafts
Traditional Chinese dwelling houses are decorated with wood, stone and brick carvings, and color-painted designs. In the south, wood sculpture is a most common form. Stone lions are often seen guarding courtyard gates. Stone posts for tethering mules, horses and donkeys are common outside old houses in north China. These posts often have lions or tigers carved on them. Stone pillar foundations can be carved in the shape of drums, melons, tubes, bottles, cones or octagons.
Brick sculpture includes the techniques of relief sculpture, multi-layer sculpture, and so on. The brick sculpture of the south is delicate and elegant; while that of the north is vigorous and bold. Flying birds, flowers and clouds are common roof beam decorations in the south, and pictures of animals, and scenes from stories and legends adorn doors, windows and partitions.