Ceramic Art Village in Mt. Gyeryong
2009.08.27(목) | CNInews ( firstname.lastname@example.org)
Situated at the east edge of Mt. Gyeryong, Chungnam's famous mountain with its magnificent scenery throughout the seasons, Ceramic Art Village is an ideal place for modern people to escape from the gray buildings in the city. You can include the village on your path to “Autumn Gap Temple”, renowned for colorful leaves in fall.
They Built a Village at the Town of Grayish Blue-Powdered Celadon in Gongju
They made many works of grayish blue-powdered celadon in Gongju in the late 15th to the early 16th century. The kilns were concentrated at the entrance of Donghak Temple. Today they are all gone with broken ceramic pieces scattered around. Around the ruins rose a ceramic village of young potters that wanted to inherit and continue the heritage.
Unlike the grayish blue-powdered celadon from other regions, the ones made in Mt. Gyeryong are famous for the application of Cheolhwa technique. They usually applied thick soil water to the pot and drew patterns on it. But the ones made in Mt. Gyeryong were painted with finely ground natural iron unique to the mountain, thus being called “Cheolhwa grayish blue-powdered celadon.” When done with firing, they show a clear contrast between the gray background and dark patterns, which are intense and promote the beauty of the celadon.
Open Studios that Teach More Than Pottery
The Ceramic Art Village is located in Sangshin-ri, Banpo-myeon, Gongju. Walking across a vast field about 1km from Mt. Gyeryong National Park, you keep walking about 4km and meet a sign that says “Mt. Gyeryong Ceramic Art Village.” There are about 20 studios run by independent potters in the village.
Tourists find the village interesting because it's a village consisting of potters and their families. It's a place of their everyday life, as well. Since it was not originally developed as a tourist destination, there is a shortage of places to relax except for the small caf? at the corner of the exhibition hall. But the potters are not shy to reveal everything about their studios even down to the dirt on the floors, and are even willing to have long talks with visitors. Thus you can form human connections with them if you feel so inclined. Most of the studios have large workstations, and you can make pots first-hand, and take lessons about Cheolhwa grayish blue-powdered celadon with prior appointments. Enthusiasts of digital cameras can take lively pictures of the potters on their work. Remember to avoid Mondays when the potters close their studios and take the day off.