Monday, June 18, 2012
During my recent trip to South Korea I noticed that the Andong Paper Factory showroom was filled with many large items of hanji covered with intricate patterns and designs. I marveled at the many pieces but didn't understand how they could all be made available for sale, personally if I'd put hours and hours into a large piece of work I'd be reluctant to put it up for sale.
I really wanted to have a lesson with the lady who was making them and after a lot of negotiating I managed to book one for myself and my friends.
When I lived in Korea, maybe it was because I was taught to do Hanji the 'old school' way by a very traditional Korean lady, but I only knew of cutouts being done by hand. They took me a long time so I was wondering how on earth I could make a lovely jewelry box in a 3 hour lesson !!
Gui - Sook Yang's workshop had the answer.
She had a huge room filled with cardboard cutouts made up and stacked ready for decorating, papers were of every colour you could imagine, projects at various stages of completion but, it also had computers, a laser printer and a laser cutting machine.
Technology has caught up with Hanji making and now for some, the skill is in using Photoshop on the computer to make various patterns and designs. These are then printed onto special Hanji paper so within seconds you have your coloured patterns and they can then be glued onto the cardboard.
Next through special computer programs the computer talks to the laser cutter and within a few minutes an intricate and perfectly cut piece of black paper, or whatever colour you may choose, is ready to be placed over the coloured design.
The effects are stunning and so quick.
Is this what I want to do?
No, I don't think so. I find a certain satisfaction in sitting at my desk, relaxation music (usually Korean) playing and cutting out pieces by hand. They take forever and my pieces are not perfect but at least I have the satisfaction of saying I made it myself. I totally understand that from a business point of view using computers is the way forward but for now I'm happy doing what I'm doing.
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
The HANJI CREW based in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota in the United States are a group of adoptive mums with Korean children with a passion for doing Hanji.
This small business is a place where they can make and sell their products at regular sales events as well as online with donations from their proceeds going to adoption-related agencies, so that they can keep connected. It's truly a worthwhile cause.
If you live in the the Minnesota area in the U.S. you may be interested in attending one of their summer Hanji workshops with projects for every level from beginners to experts. The base group are adoptive mums but anyone is welcome to attend with previous events catering for people from all walks of life.
The upcoming workshops are to be held at Korean Heritage House from 6 -9pm at :
To register, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday, June 10, 2012
As I wind down and try to get projects finished before summer I wanted to make one last thing before I head off to Australia and Europe to meet up with my children, grandchildren and friends that we've kept in touch with during the 12 years we've been travelling the world and living and working as expats.
When I was in Korea with my Hanji friends I was given a small kit and at the time, I had no idea what I was going to do with it as I saw the kit as a bit of a challenge. I wanted to choose a paper that didn't have too big a pattern so as to overshadow the shape and design of the piece and also to choose a colour that would take a small cutout on top.
Because of the size of the piece, at just 15 cms long and 9.5 cms tall everything was going to be fiddly.
After much deliberation I chose a two tone grey patterned paper with swirls on it and a light grey plain paper for the inside of the cabinet and the outside of the drawer. For the inside of the drawer I chose one of my favourite small printed designs in a pale grey.
The curved top is made with 2 layers of 3 mm thick cardboard whilst the body of the cabinet is the same.
The cutout I used was of a dragon and as I couldn't decide what colour I would eventually use I cut out a black, red and a grey dragon all at the same time. I decided to go with the grey one in the end but to brighten the whole thing up I placed red paper behind it.
When it came to putting a knob on the drawer front I tried a brass one but it didn't seem to do anything for the unit so I used a grey one with a pearl inlay in it.
All in all I think it's quite cute and another one to add to my collection of pieces.
Tuesday, June 5, 2012
Check out this website Handmade paper supplier for some fantastic papers you can order online. Go to the handmade Mulberry papers section or, to find the paper most suitable for doing Hanji, do a search for Korean papers and all the new stock will come up.
They have great range of different papers and I know that they have some new stock in from Korea and that they're fabulous.
You can also check them out on Facebook .
The company is based in Michigan, in the U.S., so if you live in that area then pop into their shop.
Creative Papers Online Handmade Paper
738 Airport Blvd. Ste. 2
738 Airport Blvd. Ste. 2
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48108
Fax or Phone: (734)-961-4100 or 1-800-PAPER-40 (727-3740)I believe they are mainly an online business that has been going for about 9 years so they have plenty of experience in their field. They will send papers all over the world.
Friday, June 1, 2012
If you're interested in doing Hanji yourself and you want to begin with some basic designs I'm now able to help you by making them available here on my blog.
The worksheets consist of 4 or 5 pages of instruction including:
1) Materials needed
2) A detailed drawing template with measurements
3) Cutout pattern/s
4) Step by step instructions including full colour photos of
5) Extra tips
I'll be expanding the list of items over the coming months so please keep looking. If you have any specific requests please email me and I'll do my best to help.
Keep checking the sidebar to the right to see what's available