What is the story of Dough, the red Ox made of dough?

Dough with a broken horn and ear

Dough with a broken horn and ear

My significant object is an Ox made from dough. He was made from leftovers for a restaurant dish. A few years back in 2009 (year of the Ox), I visited China with my mom to see my dad and relatives. It was rare for me to visit but the during few times I got to go back, we would always go to a restaurant. While waiting for our dishes to come, there was a table where workers were making little dough sculptures. I was fascinated and went over to look, with my dad following behind me. I watched the dough as it was turned into different animals through the hands of the skilled workers. After watching an Ox get made, the worker handed it to me. I was surprised since I didn’t expect them to give me one but I gladly took it and brought it home. When I got back to Canada, I put him on my shelf as a reminder and souvenir of my trip.

Dough is a primary source since I was there in person when he was made, my eyes watching the hands of the worker that crafted him. He was made by one of the workers at the restaurant I was at. Dough was made in 2009 in Shenzhen, China at a restaurant.

While Dough was being made, I was making memories with my family and relatives. My dad lives in China so I got to see him in person only once for a very long time, and I always cherished those moments with him. My uncle invited my family and I to eat at a restaurant while we had to chance to dine together. Every time I visited, I had the most fun of my childhood life so when Dough was made, it was a souvenir. If I lived in China at the time and eating at the restaurant was just an everyday thing, Dough would not be as important as he is. The memories are what makes him significant to me.

Other than holding my memories, I find sculpting incredibly magical. Seeing the worker mold a lump of dough into different objects was like a magician casting a magic trick. This is probably one of the objects that made me choose sculpting as my ZIP project.

Some inferences I can make about the creator/worker is that she had to learn to sculpt, to cook, and to work at a restaurant. She might have started sculpting with clay but had to work with dough. She was skilled in making the Ox so I can guess she was very talented at sculpting prior to working at the restaurant. She could have belonged to artistic groups or in cooking groups working at other restaurants. The audience was children at the restaurant who liked food and enjoyed watching dough being sculpted. They were to entertain little kids while they wait for their food. I can guess that the worker wanted little kids to be happy and so she gave the dough creations to them. This could’ve influenced her to work quickly but skillfully in order for the kids to not lose interest.

Some things I can learn from Dough is the worker was very skilled and talented at sculpting, the restaurant I was at was unique since it offered something like this, and that the restaurant is very smart on what they should use their leftover dough on. I also know they like to entertain people and make children happy. This does answer some question to the inquiry question but not the whole story. Dough confirms and extends my understanding of the object by examining the physical material he’s made of and the skill it took to make him. It also tells me that since 2009 was the year of the Ox, it made sense to make an ox. Some questions I have are how much dough did they use to make him? How long did it take to make him? How much practice was needed to perfect an ox?