Traditional Woodwork Workshop in the Hutongs
Workshop in the Hutongs
In a hands-on workshop learn the traditional craft of tenon and mortise,
an age-old building technique used in the construction of the
hutongs, the Forbidden City and the Temple of Heaven.
WHY THIS TOUR?
The hutongs are a labyrinth of narrow lanes in the old quarter of Beijing that date back over 300 years. They are draped in history and the unique architecture offers an insight into past times in the capital, before glass and steel replaced brick and mortar. These thoroughfares were built during the three dynasties of Yuan, Ming and Qing.
As the modern districts of the capital advance at an astonishing pace, with futuristic, cutting-edge buildings erected using purpose-built panels and steel supporting structures, the architecture of the hutongs reveals the skills that were needed to erect homes without nails and metal.
09:30 - 12:00
14:30 - 17:00
The guide will meet you at the hotel and take you to an old courtyard in the hutongs. The age-old building techniques used in the construction of the hutongs is revealed in a fascinating workshop conducted by a master craftsman. Specifically, you will learn how to create a mortise and tenon joint, a wooden connection that consists of two parts. The tenon portion of the joint works as a peg and the mortise is the hole or slot into which the tenon is inserted. This piece of craftsmanship has been used in binding buildings together in the hutongs for centuries.
This is a perfect hands-on and fun activity that involves using tools to create your own example of a tenon and mortise joint. The endeavour involves some instruction into the theory behind this component, followed by the practical session. The aim is to make a perfect connection that slides into place effortlessly. You will leave this excursion with a new-found respect for the craftsmen of old and with a greater awareness of ancient building construction methods.
At the end of the workshop we leisurely walk through the narrow hutongs before the driver will take you back to the hotel.