Ceramic Art: the Essence of Pottery Ceramics in Icheon
Icheon Ceramics Village produces traditional Korean ceramics, which are of high quality. The village became the center of traditional pottery during the Joseon Dynasty for about 500 years due to the easily obtainable materials in the areas. Icheon Ceramics Village was also the center of Joseon Baekja ceramics. Presently, about 80 pottery factories are congregated at the village, and about 300 pottery kilns are in use.
Visitors can observe the pottery production process, and purchase them directly. It is worthwhile to see the crafts of these potters known as Living Cultural Treasures of Korea for creating the highest quality handicrafts. Not only are the traditional Cheongja,Baekja, and Buncheong pottery produced here, but you can also view modern design pottery.
Pottery is made by forming a clay body into objects of a required shape and heating them to high temperatures in a kiln which removes all the water from the clay, which induces reactions that lead to permanent changes including increasing their strength and hardening and setting their shape. A clay body can be decorated before or after firing. Prior to some shaping processes, clay must be prepared. Kneading helps to ensure an even moisture content throughout the body. Air trapped within the clay body needs to be removed. This is called de-airing and can be accomplished by a machine called a vacuum pug or manually by wedging. Wedging can also help produce an even moisture content. Once a clay body has been kneaded and de-aired or wedged, it is shaped by a variety of techniques. After shaping it is dried and then fired.
When a clay mould for ceramics is done, they go outside to a kiln as you see the photos above to bake the mould in this kiln, and there are 6 holes of the kiln as they have different temperature, so to make ceramics of grace it is very important that baker sets the temperature for each pottery and each part of pottery.
Photos by Teddy Lee
www.koreatourinformation.com Staff Writer