We again owe to Father d' Incarville the method of forming animal figures. This depends on a paste made of sulphur, reduced to powder, and wheat paste mixed together, with which are covered frames of willow, or pasteboard, or wood. After having been smeared with fuller's earth, in order to prevent it from burning, the frame is coated with sulphur paste, and it is next covered with powder, while still damp. When it has been well dried, matches are fastened on the principal parts so that fire will be carried throughout at the same time. Finally, the whole is covered with paper pasted on. The Chinese, from whom this paste is derived, paint the figures according to the color of the animals that they represent. The duration of the burning is proportioned to the thickness of the coat of paste covering them.
When the figures are small, they may be molded or modeled solidly. Since this paste does not run while burning, the figures conserve their form until entirely consumed.
They may be used to form any desired sort of design. They are also employed by the Chinese to represent grapes. These are given a purple color by substituting for the wheat paste the meat of jujubes. The jujubes are first cooked, and the skin is then separated from the pits, which are thrown aside.