Showing posts from 2015

Bamboo, textures, Korean shapes and a tray .....

What inspires us to make certain Hanji pieces? For me it's often  a dormant idea in my mind and it comes out years later when certain factors all come together.

I took this photo many years ago at Haeinsa Temple just outside Busan. I'm not Buddhist but  when we lived in Busan I use to love going up to this hugely impressive Buddhist temple  because of the serenity of the surrounding hillside and the beautiful gardens. I could sit there for hours and just take in the views, peace and tranquility of the space. The biggest downside for me was that I wasn't always that fit and the Buddhist temples are usually set high up in the mountainside and require a lot of uphill climbing before you get to see the temple and the wonderful views. 
In this photo I was looking back down the long, winding path I'd just climbed and it was lined with a low wall that has the typical upturned Korean roof tiles on top and  tall bamboo mixed in with the other leafy green trees.
I've alway…

Korean Art, Craft & Culture books .....

During my recent stay in Korea I found a few books on Korean Crafts, Arts and Culture in English that I'd like to share with you.

The first one is 'Treasures from Korea, Arts and Culture of the Joseon Dynasty, 1392 - 1910'.  
This book was produced to coincide with an exhibition of the same name which started at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, in the US in March 2014 and ended up at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston in January of this year.
It isn't about Hanji but it does give a good insight into the life and times of this era and I was especially interested in the paintings that  are often incorporated into Hanji pieces.
Here's an example: 

Next is 'Korean Handicrafts - Art in Everyday life' which is jointly published by the Korea Foundation and Seoul Selection to give  international readers a basic understanding of Korean Arts and Culture.  It's a small book, No. 20 in a series entitled, Korea Essentials. It has some good links to Craft Relat…

Art Deco Hanji lamp ......

Last week one of my students came along to class with a lamp where the shade had been broken and wondered what we could do to make a new one for it. She wanted it to look Art Deco, black and white, not too big and something that threw out plenty of light, all of this  using Hanji techniques. 
There's nothing like a new challenge !!
ART DECO -  'It is an eclectic style that combines traditional craft motifs with Machine Age imagery and materials. The style is often characterized by rich colours, bold geometric shapes and lavish ornamentation ...... 'During its heyday, Art Deco represented luxury, glamour, exuberance and faith in social and technological progress.. - Wikipedia

This was never going to be a traditional Korean Hanji project but I was going to be able to use a lot of  techniques that I'd recently learnt in Korea  and I could also use Hanji paper .
After researching and pondering over photos of Art Deco designs for a few days I remembered that I'd jus…

What is Hanji? ............

Since my return to Australia, I've had so many people ask me    
      'What does Hanji mean and what is this craft?'.  Because I've been doing Hanji for the last 15 years I sometime presume that everybody knows what it is so I've prepared a short explanation as a handout for my students and thought that I'd share it with you.           HANJI - a traditional Korean Craft

‘Han’ refers to the Korean people and ‘ji’ means paper. Hanji is the term used to describe Korean paper and it is also used to describe the art of making objects out of the paper. It’s a paper made from the bark of the mulberry tree ‘dak’ and is one of Korea’s oldest and most durable products, dating back to the Three Kingdoms period around 130 AD.
Mulberry bark produces a low acidity paper. The quality of each sheet depends on the skill of the workers who prepare the depth and complexity of intertwined fibers by swishing the bamboo frames backwards and forwards during its production. The paper…

Hanji Classes in Seoul ...

I've been attempting for years to do some refresher Hanji classes  during one of my usually whirlwind visits to Seoul but,  due to overseas work commitments and a lack of classes that cater for English  speakers, it hasn't been possible. I've had a lot of queries from people wanting to know what classes I took in Seoul earlier this year so I thought that I'd share that information with all of you through my blog. 

A few years ago I was introduced to Myong Sook OM, an outstanding Korean Hanji Artist who'd studied Fine Arts for 5 years in New York and she was teaching Hanji in English to expats in Korea. She'd held several exhibitions of her work  both Nationally and Internationally and was involved in SIWA (Seoul International Women's Association). Her work is quite unique and I would love to have learnt from her as she was a perfectionist but when I dared to pose the question, " How long would I need to learn ?" I was told that a minimum of 3 mo…

Hanji poem by Suji Kwock Kim .....

I was doing some  research recently at the Adelaide State library and I was surprised to come  across a poem about Hanji

It was written by Suji Kwock Kim, and published in her collection of poems, "Notes from the Divided country'. She's a Korean American poet and playwright and has won numerous awards for her amazing work.

This particular poem talks about the hardships of the papermaker and she dedicates it to Liu Yoon- Young.

I found it fascinating and I'd like to share it with you along with some photos I took during my visit to Korea earlier this year.

Hanji: Notes for a Papermaker

          Shaped like a slab of granite
          marking a grave, but light,
          airy as "spirit-sheaves" lashed
          from bloodroot or star thistle,

         this sheet is not for burial
         but making and making of:
         a broth of splinters boiled to pith,
         cast then clotted to blank.

         I touch it, feeling grit and slub
         silk, r…

Environmentally friendly interiors using Hanji ........

' Hanji is used in limitless applications, including  wallpaper and an array of household goods made with traditional craftsmanship. The official residences of the Korean Mission to the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Mun are good examples of the esthetic qualities of hanji interiors.'Cha Jong-sun
Professor at Yewon Arts University, Hanji Formative Arts Department

Hanji has been showing a resurgence in popularity of late as people are turning to more environmentally friendly lifestyles where the importance of a good quality of life is paramount.  
One of the ambassadors for this is General Ban Ki-Mun and his wife who have recently worked in collaboration with he Hanji Formative Arts Department of Yewon Arts University in decorating the Guest Room of the UN Secretary General’s official residence in New York and the official residence of the Korean Mission to the UN with hanji. It's believed that the current Pope is also looking at having his residence decorated using hanji.
The ro…

Korean symbols and meanings .....

I found these  at the National Museum of Korea in Seoul. It's an interesting explanation of some of the symbols and meanings of items we put onto our hanji pieces.  There are other explanations as well but this collection seems to be quite succinct. 
I love the explanations of the butterfly and the cat and I'm sure there must be reasons behind these meanings. I'd love to know more.