Showing posts from May, 2012

Hansangsoo Embroidery museum .... a great find

During my visit to Korea in March I visited the Hansangsoo Embroidery Museumlocated in Bukchon Hanok Village in Gahoe-dong in Seoul. 
While rapid development in Korea has replaced  much of the old with new, Bukchon Hanok Village   is an area dedicated to preserving Korean traditional houses called ‘hanok’.

Bukchon Hanok  Village is nestled between the two royal palaces, Gyeongbokgung Palace and Changdeokgung Palace.  Many of the little museums that line the narrow streets are  opportunities for visitors to have cultural immersion experiences which include folk painting and doing different  tile rubbings.
The Embroidery Museum has many exhibits of  traditional embroidery including the works of Han Sang-soo, who has been named Intangible Cultural Asset No. 80. It was established to promote Korean embroidery as well as artwork, and to preserve the traditional techniques handed down from generation to generation, in a hope of encouraging a new generation of creations.
The Museum in its t…

Hanji in Toronto ..........

For those of you who live in Toronto, Canada here's a place to find your Hanji Paper. At this BlogTOwebsite a post by Robyn Urback tells about her visit to a new hanji shop,  owned by husband and wife Hyun Suk and Catherine Choi.It sounds wonderful.  All the best for your new venture.

Photos by Nick Warzin

Technology & worksheets ....

During my time in Korea I attended several weekly hanji workshops that lasted from around 10 weeks up to 6 months in length.

When I went to make anything the instructions were all in Korean and I relied heavily on my Korean friends to translate and to pass on  the directions of the teacher.

Over the past 10 years I've developed a variety of worksheets on how to make a box, lamps and small cupboards. Each was a page or two long with a small picture and some very broad steps for instructions. 
Way back then  was  the time I was resistant to all things 'techie' and very new to using a computer.  I knew very  little about where to start, the software available and it was quite difficult  to produce the results I wanted. 
My, how things have changed !!!

I love technology these days and love to keep up with the latest gadgets and programs, when time permits.
I've received many emails over the last few months asking for more instructions in English so I've been working o…

Malaysian hanji ?

I've been an expat for over 12 years now and time has gone so fast. After living in Korea for 3 years and learning about hanji, my husband and I moved to Malaysia.   I wanted to continue doing Hanji so I thought that I'd make something with a Malaysian flavour. 
I chose the hibiscus flower (bungaraya) to dominate a tea table. It's the National flower of Malaysia and I hadn't seen it used very much in Korean Hanji despite the fact that the cutouts I was using were from a Korean  book..

I knew the techniques of what to do and  I worked for weeks on choosing papers, making cutouts and creating my piece of 'Malaysian Hanji'.  I was really pleased with the results of the cutouts, colourings and application but unfortunately when I went to varnish it the humid weather in Malaysia reacted to the varnish when applied. 
Consequently I made very few hanji items during my stay there.

Maybe I'll make a piece of UAE hanji and have camels on …

"Where to get Hanji supplies?"......

I've had many people write and ask me, "Where do I get my Hanji  supplies?". 

Well when I visit Seoul I always head to a shop called Ilsindang in Insadong. I'm not advertising and I don't get any remuneration for this information but it's just a place that I find convenient to get to when I'm visiting Seoul. It's a little difficult to find as it's upstairs and not so visible from the street.  If you can find Starbucks then there's a sign on the building on the opposite side of the road. 
Take the stairs up to the 2nd floor and you'll come to a door that looks like this.

Inside is an Alladdin's cave of hanji papers, hardware, glues, varnishes, lamps, kits, paint brushes, and calligraphy brushes.  I usually need about 3 visits before I'm satisfied that I've checked everything out and bought more than I immediately need. 


Making pictures ......

One of the many things I like about doing Hanji is choosing designs, and cutouts in particular, to decorate it. You can see in this picture above, some Hanji products where they've added several different cutouts to each piece. I like the idea as it certainly adds interest to the little pot.

I've also discovered that you can use torn pieces of paper put together to make a picture. Here are some examples of how effective it can be. 

I haven't tried this technique myself yet but I'll put it onto my  'To do' list for when I have time!! I think they look stunning.

Is creativity inherent or learnt over time?

I think if we have a desire to be creative, which could be inherited or just from curiosity or need, then great things can be achieved. But, time and exposure are important factors.

I remember when my children were younger  I had little or no time to explore creativity as much as my mother who seemed to be good at everything but I do believe it was always there waiting for the right time. Since my children have all grown up I find I can now explore different arts and crafts and extend myself as far, or as little as I like.
Looking at the next generation; to my delight my daughter Laura, with two very young children, is finding time to be creative by sewing, painting and cooking  as well as being a mother and a wife.  She works part time as well but, many of her friends are working from home making things  then selling them at the markets, once or twice a month, in and around Adelaide. It seems that home made products are very much appreciated by the next generation as well as by mine. I…

Religion and culture intertwined

Continuing on from my earlier posting on Korean Rice chests I came across this photo I had taken in  Jogye-sa Buddhist Temple near Insadong in Seoul. Inside the temple was a traditional Korean rice chest but with glass sides where people could place offereings of bags of rice for the monks.
In a sacred place such as a temple you can see the intertwining of religion and culture as they utilize an ancient everyday piece of furniture in a modern day religious setting.

Being creative .........

This week I've been working on a different, very simple technique that I haven't used for many years.  It's adding texture to an article by using cutout cardboard shapes.  
Now these are really impossible to cutout by hand so you'd need to buy the ones that have been laser cut already from a Hanji shop.  I picked up a few on my recent visits and I just felt that I wanted to experiment a little.
I made a tray to best display the cutout in a smaller article then covered it in mottled paper to give the effect of wood.  I placed one of the lighter sections of the paper in the middle then, when the paper was quite wet and mold-able with the glue I began pushing it into the shape. This took quite a long time and then I wasn't happy with the overall effect.

Because of the markings of the paper the shapes beneath the relief didn't stand out so I carefully bleached the paper on top.  This then achieved the desired effect I was looking for and above is the final result.

Jeonju Hanji

Here's an interesting video about Jeonju Hanji and it's uitilization in the past. And now in the 21st century, the technical applications that it is used for in so many different fields. 
It's especially interesting to hear how it's used  for making materials for clothing and bedding and that it's around 80% as strong as cotton, plus it has additional qualities.