The different shapes and sizes found within the spectrum of these Chinese bronze vessels are possibly due to them being intended for use with specific foods or drinks (Rawson, 1992: 56).
The rituals the items were produced for are not completely clear, however a strong idea is that the items were used for ceremonial meals to honour ancestors (Ledderose, 2000: 29) because of their forms.
The casting method used in ancient Chinese bronze-making was unique, and it is not known where this technique originated, though since it has not yet been found in other cultures, it is quite likely that it may have been conceived in China itself. Middle The 'Kui' dragons, rather two-legged creatures with snouts, tails and ears, are a main feature in many vessels, and may be representative of blood sacrifices during the rituals the vessels were used within (Tregear, 2003: 28) Some people believe the faces may have been to represent gluttony and indulgence (Tregear, 2003: 28), as the ritual feasts they would have been used at must have been plentiful (Rawson, 1992: 59).
The 'Taotie' face motif may also have become as popular as it did due to its versatility, as it can be found on a variety of different shaped and sized vessels (Rawson, 1992: 59), allowing a repetitive motif throughout a ceremonial dinner set.
What all such brushes have in common, however, is their flexibility.
Ancient China Art Essay
It is this feature more than any other that allows the calligraphic line to be so fluid and expressive.
The factors which were required for the ritual usage of the material such as the methods used to make vessels, and the designs behind them, are important.
They are distinctively Chinese and are very individual, so it is actually appropriate that the country's leaders would use the vessels created from bronze, and the weapons made from the scarce material would have been used to fight for the country of China.
The resulting hardened cakes or sticks can then be ground against a stone and mixed with water, a process that allows the calligrapher to control the thickness of the ink and density of the pigment.
Eventually ink cakes and ink sticks themselves became a decorative art form, and many well-known artists created designs and patterns for their molds.