Monday, October 31, 2011

 Here is an interesting article  from the Korea Herald newspaper yesterday about  a craftsman who makes Hanji screens, a very important part of the paper making process.


  Master craftsmen inspire with fine touches

2011-10-30 18:57

Yu Bae-geun’s hanji screens are displayed at the exhibition. (Sulwhasu)
Sulwhasu exhibition brings together handicrafts by 11 Korean masters in various fields

It is impossible to make “hanji,” or Korean traditional mulberry paper, without a hanji screen. And Yu Bae-geun, who is registered as Intangible Cultural Property No. 31, is the sole person in the nation who can make one.

He spends his winters in the freezing Damyang County in South Jeolla Province searching for good four to five-year-old bamboo, and other months indoors extracting the thinnest-possible bamboo ribs. It takes almost a month for the deft artisan to cut the bamboo, boil it in salt water, chip and rub it over and over again until it’s barely 1 mm in diameter. At least several hundreds ribs should be connected to form a screen.

The demand for the screens, of course, has decreased since the import of cheap Chinese ones, Yu told The Korea Herald. They do not, however, have what it takes to create the delicate and soft hanji the right way ― how Korean ancestors did for thousands of years.

Yu is one of the 11 South Korean master craftsmen exhibiting their priceless works, essential for the transmission of Korean traditional culture, at the Sulwhasu exhibition which kicked off last week at beyond museum in Cheongdam-dong, southern Seoul.

The cosmetics brand Sulwhasu has been hosting the exhibition for five years now, and supports the artisans as they create new works. Titled “The Garden of Imaginative Tales,” this year’s show, as usual, offers a precious opportunity for artisans to remind the public of their importance and visitors to learn about a wide range of crafts including pottery, knots, ornamental knives and even salt.

At the entrance of the museum, visitors will encounter a sparkling sea of snow white salt ― at least 2 tons. Named gray salt, it is unusually harvested on mudflats and is known for its outstanding mineral content, flavor and high price.

The man behind it, Park Seong-chun, is one of the nation’s master artisans, said the organizers of the exhibition. 
Park Moon-yeol’s metal handicrafts are displayed at the exhibition. (Sulwhasu)

Metal craft artisan Park Moon-yeol’s locks are also sure to catch visitors’ eyes. Not only are the patterns embroidered on the metal exquisite, but the workings of the seven-step lock are amazing. Just as special locks were back in the Joseon Dynasty, it takes seven steps to unlock Park’s locks. Only those with superior knowledge in the structure of the locks are able to open them. Park is designated Intangible Cultural Property No.64.

“This exhibition came as a shock to me. The last time I was in Korea, about 20 years ago, I could not imagine this kind of exhibition in which our traditions and craftworks are so well-organized. Every single one of the exhibits here is something we can all be proud of when displayed anywhere in the world,” said lacquer artist Jun Yong-bok who came back to Korea earlier this year after 24 years in Japan. He is showcasing ocean-inspired lacquer paintings at the show. Contrary to his neat suit and shoes, his fingernails were black from the paint.

The exhibition runs through Nov. 10 at beyond museum in Cheongdam-dong, southern Seoul. Admission is free. For more information, call (02) 794-1559 or visit

By Park Min-young  (

Friday, October 28, 2011

A pretty lamp ....

This is a lamp that I made a few months ago.  I combined different elements to construct a circular lamp with perspex windows. The shell was covered with a small geometric pattern whilst the windows were covered with a plain, very pale pink paper.  The windows were decorated with cutouts that were filled with different coloured papers.

Monday, October 17, 2011

How to cut out Hanji Paper

 As I've mentioned before I've been following the blog of  'The constant crafter'.  She's currently making a Hanji Korean Medicine Cabinet and is posting every few days to show what she's up to and how she's been achieving this mammoth task.

Today she not only posted on her blog but she has included a video of how to cut out Hanji Paper to make intricate design. I'd like to share this with you.

Here is the link to her video.


Sunday, October 16, 2011

Korean boxes

I've set myself a challenge and  decided to make some things to sell at a Christmas stall here in RAK at the Hilton Hotel.  Pat and Barbara from my Hanji group are going to contribute as well so it should be lots of fun when we get it all together.

This annual Christmas event is run by the expatriate women of Ras Al Khaimah and is always an interesting event where we see a variety of handicrafts, made by the men and women of this small community as well as some  from Dubai.

It signals the run up to Christmas in a city that doesn't have shops filled with Christmas decorations nor any outward indication of what is an important Christian event for so many of us.

I'm experimenting with new paper designs and continuing to perfect using some of my own photographs printed onto Hanji paper to create unique items.  It involves many steps in the Hanji process from cutting out the cardboard, glueing them all together, taping, printing the papers and then delicately placing it onto the handmade boxes before finishing them off. As the printer ink  is water based I use a different method of applying the paper to the boxes which is proving to be successful.

I've chosen to go with the sepia colours because to me, the earthy tones depict the essence of the age old traditions of Korea such as Hanji, Kimchi making, the tea ceremony  and playing the gyagum.

I'm happy with the results so far.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Korean Hanji Medicine Cabinet

Check out this amazing blog which details the making of a Hanji Korean Medicine Cabinet.

It's written by an American lady who's spending 12 months living in Seoul, South Korea and she's taking classes in Hanji.

Her  posts give step by step details of what she's been doing and it makes a great story both academically and photographically.

Check out her latest(No. 10) post   here.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Morgan Art of Papermaking Conservatory and Educational Foundation

Morgan Art of Papermaking Conservatory and Educational Foundation
The Morgan Art of Papermaking Conservatory and Educational Foundation is an Ohio non-profit art center dedicated to the preservation of handmade papermaking and the art of the book. Morgan Conservatory will pursue its educational and charitable purposes by serving the greater community locally, nationally, and internationally with sustainable practices in an innovative green environment.

This Foundation in Ohio in the US is about to have a fully operational Paper Mill dedicated to preserving the Art of papermaking using traditional methods. 

Check out their website

They will be selling paper online so for those of us who live outside Korea and who want to get a good quality handmade paper it may be worth a look. If the quality is good, It may aleviate the language problems we have trying to purchase from a Korean website.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Hanji dinner

Barbara, Suy, Jan (Me), Anna and Juliet. 
Last night we took a rest from making Hanji and went out for a Japanese meal at Akoya down on the corniche. Unfortunately Tricia and Fran couldn't make it but I hope we'll be able to do this again soon girls.

It gave us an opportunity to regroup and work out just what we're planning to make for the rest of the semester. A Christmas stall is one plan so look out for some new designs coming up...........

Saturday, October 1, 2011

How to make a 3D box?

This is an easy and interesting box to make
  • Cut out a strip of 3mm thick cardboard then score it 7 times to form 4 triangles at the top and 4 triangles at the bottom.

  • The width of the cardboard will determine the size of your finished box.   

  • Put the paper you want onto the inside of the box then glue it together to form a square at the base.

  • Cut out a base - glue the inside paper you want onto one side then glue the base to the sides.

  • Cover all joins with 1cm wide masking tape.

  • Cut out 3 squares to make the lid.
    Punch holes in the centre for the knob.  


    1  - that fits inside the box              
    2 - that is a little larger
    3 - as extra decoration for the lid.

  • Glue the squares together to make the lid.

  • Paper the outside of the box. and the lid. Glue strips of paper over all edges.

  • Cut some designs in black paper to add to the box.

  • Varnish the box. Attach a knob into the lid.

It's been a while but I just have to share this ...... Bali paper making

Whilst on a holiday in Bali last week I began to wonder if anyone there did paper making.   After a lot of research I came u...