The word "calligraphy" has it's origins in the Greek language and the dictionary defines calligraphy as "the art of fine handwriting." There is no finer example of fine handwriting than Chinese calligraphy. Most people associate the word calligraphy with good penmanship, but in China calligraphy is an art form in itself.
Chinese calligraphy writing is practiced by people in China from an early age, and all school children learn how to write calligraphy. This art form permeates every facet of Chinese culture and is often used to adorn everyday articles such as clothing, household items, jewelry, tea sets, dishes and much more. Chinese calligraphy writing can be found in museums all over the world and is prominently featured in nearly every museum in China.
Chinese calligraphy writing and artworks are becoming much more popular in Western cultures. This can be seen in many areas of Western culture, including the fact that calligraphy symbols have become one of the most popular tattoos in the United States.
The art of Chinese calligraphy writing reaches from tattoo parlors all the way to the White House. Mrs. Laura Bush recently wrote a Chinese character meaning eternity, during a lesson at the Suchiya-cho Townhouse in Kyoto, Japan. Visit our Chinese Calligraphy page to see the photo of her holding the calligraphy painting she wrote.
There are only two styles of calligraphy writing commonly used in China today, the Clerical Style and the Regular Style. These two styles are known as the modern styles, though in truth they are over 1500 years old. The other forms of calligraphy are often referred to as "traditional" or ancient styles and are only practiced by a limited number of Chinese calligraphy artists who wish to preserve this ancient form of writing.
Some of the ancient calligraphy writing styles include Oracle Inscriptions, the Great Seal Style, the Small Seal Style and the Running Style. Among the various calligraphy writing styles there are further divisions of these styles, which artists use in writing Chinese calligraphy characters.
There are thousands of styles of Chinese calligraphy writing, but only Zhuan Shu, Li Shu, Kai Shu, Xing Shu, and Cao Shu can generally be recognized by Chinese people. JiaGuWen and Jin Wen are two additional styles that are very ancient and few people can recognize these styles, even in China. The style you are most likely to see in modern Chinese calligraphy paintings is known as Kai Shu.
Even within the style of Kai Shu you will find countless additional styles which appear to be completely different from each other, but in fact they are just variations of this one style of writing. Most calligraphy characters you see in advertising, product packaging, on general household items and in daily life are of the Kai Shu style.
The Chinese Calligraphy Store offers books, calligraphy kits, ink, brushes, rice paper and other calligraphy supplies to help you learn the art of Chinese calligraphy writing. To get started you will need some basic tools and at least one book on this subject. You can buy one of the books listed on this Web site or visit your local public library for books on this subject. You will also need some basic supplies, which we have listed below.
One of our best selling products for Chinese calligraphy writing is our large Chinese calligraphy set which provides nearly everything you need to get started including brushes, ink stick, ink well, paper weight, porcelain brush holder, porcelain water dish, a Chinese seal (un-carved) and red seal ink in a porcelain container.
Featured Calligraphy Writing Products @ The Chinese Calligraphy Store
Complete Chinese Calligraphy Kit
This kit is designed to offer everything needed to begin writing Chinese calligraphy and includes a complete calligraphy set.
Calligraphy Brush Set of 18 Buddha Brushes
There are nine types and nine sizes included in this set, and two of each size, each brush is designed to produce a different stroke.
Chinese Symbols Beginners Calligraphy Book
These sheets are designed to be used for practicing calligraphy, and even have Chinese symbols and grid lines to aid your practice.