Drill for carving jade
L. 4 1/4 in. (10.8 cm); Diam. 5/16 in. (0.8 cm)
Gift of Joan Hartman-Goldsmith, 1981
Not on view
These steel drills with blunt points (zhuangding or dingzi
in Chinese), flat heads (tuozi), or curving heads (wazi) are used for high relief carving, undercutting, and fine shaping of small jade works. The craftsman holds the jade in one hand against the drill, which is mounted on a spinning shaft. He or she rotates the shaft using foot treadles, while continuously applying abrasives, usually sand mixed with water, to the tip of the drill, which cuts the jade.