Many different types of stone have been favored over the years by sculptors. Marble, travertine and sandstone were the most widely used in China for both sculpture and architecture. Typically, these stones were local to the region and easily obtained by the artist, making them cheaper than imported resources.
Many sculptors handpicked the stone from quarries. Large blocks were cut down and prepared by apprentices in the sculptors’ workshops. Master masons were very particular about their materials and might have begun working on several blocks until they found the perfect one for a project.