The day before the workshop began, September 25, Mr. Lee gave a demonstration at the museum. For two days he had constructed an enormous storage jar using more than 700 pounds of clay. He told us later that he's constructed these huge jars many times when doing demonstrations at universities and museums, but he always breaks them down rather than firing them. From what he said, almost no one has a kiln large enough for a pot this size. Following are some photos I took at the event. A traditional Korean musical group was playing because he always listens to Korean music for inspiration when he's applying slip to large pieces. If you'd like to see a great video of him at work in his studio, check out this documentary from Goldmark Art in England: http://www.goldmarkart.com/scholarship/lee-kang-hyo-onggi-master/.
On Sunday, we kept building up the walls of our pots. He then showed us how to smooth the wall of the pot using our fingers and a rib. After the walls were smooth, we learned how to use a paddle and anvil to thin the walls. When it was my turn to use the paddle and anvil, I started wacking the clay like I was beating a rug. He kept saying "too strong, too strong," which wasn't a compliment. Eventually I got a better feel for paddling, but not before my pot started bulging out near the base like the hips of XXXL pants. Thankfully Mr. Lee helped me bring the pot back in so it didn't completely collapse. In the afternoon he demonstrated how to apply slip on the tea bowls he'd made the day before. We applied slip to our own tea bowls and then applied slip to our large jars. In the last hour, he showed us pictures of his pots and talked about his development as an artist.
I came away from the workshop with a better understanding of how to do handbuilding more quickly, but especially with a desire to explore in more depth how to apply slip to my pots. Through both his demos and the photos of his pots, Mr. Lee gave me a better sense of the artistic possibilities in using slip. I was also struck by how slip remained pretty much the same after the firing. I was intrigued by that since glazes change so much.
Following are four videos I made during the workshop. The first three are of Mr. Lee making tea bowls, trimming them, and then decorating them with slip the following day. The fourth video shows him making bases for onggi pots. Unfortunately, when I zoomed in for closeups the picture became a little pointillist. Didn't look that way when I was taking them!