When I visited China in 2004 I had a name chop made in a small shop on Liulichang in Beijing. That street doesn’t exist anymore… shortly after I visited they demolished that area to ruibuild and modernize. It’s amazing to me the history that is being torn down in that part of the world in the name of progress. But it certainly makes me glad that I was able to see that street lined with bookshops and art supply stores and (fake) antiques and glad I bought my chop there as a reminder of my visit. I didn’t need it necessarily, but it was one of very few items that I was interested in procuring as souvenirs while I was in China. Besides this chop, I also bought a necklace made of coral from the South China Sea, a navy silk brocade shirt with silver dragons, some paper cutouts that are now framed and hanging on my wall, and a “I climbed the Great Wall” t-shirt.
The people in the store where I bought my chop loved that I wanted western characters carved rather than a translation of my name into Chinese characters (which had already been done by my guides “Christina” and “Peter”… I believe they translated Lauren into “Lang Rong” which means something like “bright and clear”). I bought this particular chop because it was a) square shaped instead of round and b) carved with traditional Chinese iconography - I wanted a beautiful and not merely fuctional object.
Here are the front and side views (apologies for crappy photos):
The front of the stone has a fish jumping out of the water at the bottom and the side has a large flower that continues onto the front and top of the piece. And, finally, the stamp impression itself which I’ve been using recently to label books that I loan to friends:
I’ve used that particular orientation/combination of “L” and “P” to label art for years. And red has always been a particular favorite color of mine.