The unofficial/official Korean Teaware Topic


Discussion on virtually any teaware related item.

Re: NEW! The unofficial/official Korean Teaware Topic

Postby qiao2zhi4 » May 6th, '10, 11:38

debunix wrote:The shapes, the celadon, the bamboo pattern, that one has it all. Beautiful.

:D
... so i give you my favourite korean teabowl by master han ik hwan (1921-2006) ...

Image
: my preferred bowl for malcha
Last edited by qiao2zhi4 on May 12th, '10, 10:44, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: NEW! The unofficial/official Korean Teaware Topic

Postby Victoria » May 6th, '10, 11:54

Beautiful. Did you buy this piece in person also? I would love to visit there one day. :)
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Re: NEW! The unofficial/official Korean Teaware Topic

Postby qiao2zhi4 » May 6th, '10, 12:06

unfortunately i couldn't meet master han ik hwan; he died 2006, i found out yet and i spent my 1st time in korea spring 2009 (honeymoon) ...
but "by chance" the 23rd icheon ceramic festival (world ceramic biennale korea) found us ... this is simply every addicted collectors overkill ... :P
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Re: NEW! The unofficial/official Korean Teaware Topic

Postby Victoria » May 6th, '10, 13:35

I can only imagine! :shock: :)
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Re: NEW! The unofficial/official Korean Teaware Topic

Postby Tead Off » May 9th, '10, 08:02

karmaplace wrote:What are the Korean names for these kind of sets, or teaware in general? I mean, if I were looking around for tea sets in Korea, what would I need to ask for? I speak Korean fairly well, but I've been having trouble trying to find terms for looseleaf teas and teaware in Korean (none of my Korean friends drink tea and my dictionary hasn't been of much help either).

I know there are shops and artisans in Insadong, but I'm not sure if that is truly the best place to go. If I can find an artisan who is closer to where I'll be living, I would definitely prefer it (I've lived in Gyeongsangbukdo before and may be moving to Busan this summer).


I am in Korea now and have spent the last 2 weeks touring mostly for teaware and tea. I began in Insadong where there are several tea shops as well as shops selling teaware and then visited the Mungyeong pottery festival which was great. There were 27 foreign potters invited to exhibit along with several Mungyeong potters. Mungyeong is a pottery center with a couple of National Treasures living and working there as well as several other potters working in porcelain and the local clay. I also visited the Yeoju ceramics festival which is another annual fair worth going to. I didn't go to the Icheon fair which is big and popular. May is definitely the month to go hunting in Korea.

What I've noticed is there seems to be 2 distinct approaches to teaware in Korea. The most popular type is what has been shown here in the teasets, usually porcelain and consisting of teapot, cooling bowl, 5 or 6 cups, and, waste water bowl. This type of set is everywhere and while it is not my taste, is more traditional and has many variations on this theme. Many of the 'masters', make very fine versions of these sets with glazes that are traditional and handed down from their teachers or families.

The 2nd approach is what I would term 'creative' and to me, is far more interesting, organic, and, full of feeling. This 'style' is harder to find as fewer Korean potters work in this genre as opposed to foreign potters including the Japanese. But, the Korean creative potters are a match for anyone making artistic teaware and have their unique style and sensibilities. One such potter is Hong Seong-il who lives in Boseong in the south near the coast. I just spent 3 days with him looking at work and introducing me to some of the other potters and artists that he knows and likes. We also went into the mountains to drink tea. Great time and very beautiful where he lives.

2 foreign potters that are deeply influenced by Korean Teaware are the Korean/American Arthur Park and Peter Novak, the Czech potter, both working in the creative style. These are potters everyone here should know about and view their work along with Seong il's to get a feeling for Korean teaware.

The actual tea production in Korea is rather small and not many varieties. It is also expensive as the best stuff is hand picked and processed by small farms and sold directly to the consumer. Brother Anthony's book, 'The Korean Way of Tea' will answer most of your questions about Korean tea. But, basically, there is green tea, which is divided into 3 grades, the most costly is Ujjeon, then Sejak the 2nd picking, and, then the 3rd, whose name escapes me. Keep in mind that Korea is an expensive country with espresso costing $5 a shot in many cafes in Seoul. I was a bit shocked at the prices and when I was told that the good Ujjeon is often $200-300 for 100g, I wasn't exactly enthusiastic. I actually paid $70/100g for hand processed Sejak grade wild green tea.
Then there is Palyocha (yellow tea) which is very good but altogether different than Nokcha (green tea). This is an oxidized tea with longer, dark, leaves reminscent of Wuyi tea in looks only. Yellow tea has a distinctive flavor and aroma, very floral but not sweet like TGY. This is much more affordable. If there is any other kind of tea in Korea, I didn't come across it. I know they have a tokcha (cake tea) but not like Puerh. I have also heard they have a hong cha (black tea) but never saw it.

Koreans also drink a lot of wild herbal teas. Wild Persimmon leaf tea is wonderful.

Sorry to be so lengthy in my reply but I got very excited about being here and discovering a real tea culture that is very much alive, especially in the south where they grow the tea. There is still a purity that exists in Korea and the country is not really setup for tourism except in certain places and even then there is not a big foreigner presence. I encourage anyone to go that has interest in tea and tea culture. It is not like any place I've been in Asia.
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Re: NEW/The unofficial/official Korean Teaware Topic

Postby Tead Off » May 9th, '10, 08:18

TIM wrote:Traditional Boseong ash glaze teaware, using the same red clay material as onggi:

Image
Image

A commercial grade Gwangju celadon set. Brewing up some moroccan green tea.


Tim,

FYI, in case you didn't know, the Onggi cooling bowl in the top picture was made by Hong Seong-il's wife, Lee Hye-Jin. She is a very nice and sweet woman.
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Re: NEW! The unofficial/official Korean Teaware Topic

Postby IPT » May 9th, '10, 08:42

Thank you so much! Fantastic information! It sounds like you had an awesome experience. Any photos? I really need to learn more about Korean Tea. Do you know of any sources for tea and teaware on the net?
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Re: NEW! The unofficial/official Korean Teaware Topic

Postby Tead Off » May 9th, '10, 08:47

IPT wrote:Thank you so much! Fantastic information! It sounds like you had an awesome experience. Any photos? I really need to learn more about Korean Tea. Do you know of any sources for tea and teaware on the net?

I am still in Korea and not able to post any photos yet. For tea on the web, perhaps some other posters know. I think East Teas in the U.K. has Korean tea. Hong Seong-il has a blog with an online store. His site is a bit confusing but there are some beautiful things listed there. http://blog.naver.com/ttogarii

Good luck.
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Re: NEW! The unofficial/official Korean Teaware Topic

Postby Victoria » May 9th, '10, 11:15

Thanks so much Tead Off! Wonderful update! As IPT said we are thirsting for Korean teaware sites and tea. Please keep us updated about your travels and we look forward to seeing your pictures!
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Re: NEW! The unofficial/official Korean Teaware Topic

Postby Chip » May 9th, '10, 12:53

Seong's work has blessed our forum's pages previously, both ChicagoPotter and Tead Off shared their pieces. Really awesome works. Great "shino" glaze.

Thanks Tead Off for sharing with us.
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Re: NEW! The unofficial/official Korean Teaware Topic

Postby karmaplace » May 9th, '10, 13:23

Tead Off wrote:I encourage anyone to go that has interest in tea and tea culture. It is not like any place I've been in Asia.


I've been to Boseong before, actually, but at that time I was not an avid tea drinker, and I was only there a few hours for movie filming. I'm definitely planning to re-visit when I get back. I know they have a green tea festival at some point out there.

I had no idea about Mungyeong, which makes me sad considering I lived in Gyeongsang province for an entire year! I went to a few festivals, but I didn't know that I was so close to a pottery center. Is the pottery festival an annual event in May?

I'm quite impressed and thank you for sharing all that information. I already love Korea and can't wait to move back there, but now I'm twice as excited to go back and explore!
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Re: NEW! The unofficial/official Korean Teaware Topic

Postby IPT » May 9th, '10, 22:17

Tead Off wrote:
IPT wrote:Thank you so much! Fantastic information! It sounds like you had an awesome experience. Any photos? I really need to learn more about Korean Tea. Do you know of any sources for tea and teaware on the net?

I am still in Korea and not able to post any photos yet. For tea on the web, perhaps some other posters know. I think East Teas in the U.K. has Korean tea. Hong Seong-il has a blog with an online store. His site is a bit confusing but there are some beautiful things listed there. http://blog.naver.com/ttogarii

Good luck.


Thank you!!

It is quite difficult to navigate, but there are some incredible photos. Do you know how to contact him? Does he speak English? I really love his work. Very interesting.
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Re: NEW! The unofficial/official Korean Teaware Topic

Postby TIM » May 9th, '10, 22:44

IPT wrote:
Tead Off wrote:
IPT wrote:Thank you so much! Fantastic information! It sounds like you had an awesome experience. Any photos? I really need to learn more about Korean Tea. Do you know of any sources for tea and teaware on the net?

I am still in Korea and not able to post any photos yet. For tea on the web, perhaps some other posters know. I think East Teas in the U.K. has Korean tea. Hong Seong-il has a blog with an online store. His site is a bit confusing but there are some beautiful things listed there. http://blog.naver.com/ttogarii

Good luck.


Thank you!!

It is quite difficult to navigate, but there are some incredible photos. Do you know how to contact him? Does he speak English? I really love his work. Very interesting.


IPT. You can certainly send him emails. He travel to Yunnan quite offen.
Good Luck ~ T
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Re: NEW! The unofficial/official Korean Teaware Topic

Postby Tead Off » May 9th, '10, 23:48

karmaplace wrote:
Tead Off wrote:I encourage anyone to go that has interest in tea and tea culture. It is not like any place I've been in Asia.


I've been to Boseong before, actually, but at that time I was not an avid tea drinker, and I was only there a few hours for movie filming. I'm definitely planning to re-visit when I get back. I know they have a green tea festival at some point out there.

I had no idea about Mungyeong, which makes me sad considering I lived in Gyeongsang province for an entire year! I went to a few festivals, but I didn't know that I was so close to a pottery center. Is the pottery festival an annual event in May?

I'm quite impressed and thank you for sharing all that information. I already love Korea and can't wait to move back there, but now I'm twice as excited to go back and explore!


Mungyeong is an annual festival along with Yeoju, Gwangju, Boseong, Icheon. There are probably more but my knowledge is limited. This is enough to keep anyone interested and broke.
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Re: NEW! The unofficial/official Korean Teaware Topic

Postby Tead Off » May 9th, '10, 23:51

TIM wrote:
IPT wrote:
Tead Off wrote:
IPT wrote:Thank you so much! Fantastic information! It sounds like you had an awesome experience. Any photos? I really need to learn more about Korean Tea. Do you know of any sources for tea and teaware on the net?

I am still in Korea and not able to post any photos yet. For tea on the web, perhaps some other posters know. I think East Teas in the U.K. has Korean tea. Hong Seong-il has a blog with an online store. His site is a bit confusing but there are some beautiful things listed there. http://blog.naver.com/ttogarii

Good luck.


Thank you!!

It is quite difficult to navigate, but there are some incredible photos. Do you know how to contact him? Does he speak English? I really love his work. Very interesting.


IPT. You can certainly send him emails. He travel to Yunnan quite offen.
Good Luck ~ T


Emailing him at ttogarii@naver.com

I don't think he travels to Yunnan. He told me he has only been to Japan.
Did you see my note about your onggi cooling bowl?
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