Friday, December 12, 2008


Yesterday we did a workshop at a community clay center in Kwangju. It was a really wonderful experience- it was well attended and the participants asked very interesting questions. We did a PowerPoint presentation and then demonstrated for a few hours. Mr. Oh did great job translating but it was an unusual experience to speak through a translator. He gave a lengthy introduction where we heard our names frequently but had no idea what he was saying about us. However, we've talked about clay so much with Mr. Oh, we know that he understands our thoughts about it.  We also had the experience where we would talk for a while and his translation would be very short, and the other way around. Mr. Oh always laughs about that when he has a translator.  This was the first time we've really experienced that, and it was pretty funny.

Mr. Oh suggested that we demonstrate things that people here probably had not seen before.  Naomi pulled some handles and demonstrated carving a small animal sculpture, and Michael demonstrated making square slab vases and slab-molded pots.  Then we both had a lot of fun decorating some slabs with red and white slip.  When we're making slab-molded dishes, usually we decorate the slabs while they're flat, and then put them on the mold after the slip has dried somewhat.  It's a fun and unusual experience for a potter to do flat painting!  When the slab gets pressed onto the mold, the slip gets mashed down, sometimes making it look almost like inlay.

Naomi sometimes slings little handfuls of slip... a.k.a. "wipe-ons."... As opposed to "wipe-offs," which Michael is demonstrating below.

After the workshop we went to a great sam gyup sal restaurant with the owner of the clay center, Mrs. Yu, and some of the participants.  Mrs. Yu studied onggi at Mr. Oh's factory during the time Michael was there in 2001, so it was wonderful to see her again.  We also met some really nice young potters. Seung Ryung (sp?-we'll check) is one of Hee Chang's assistants (he took this photo, so he's not in it), and he also helped a lot setting up the power point projector.  Hong Seongil is seated on the other side of Michael, and he took most of the photos of our workshop you see here.  He makes some very nice bowls, and we'll post a link to his blog in a new post. 

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