Korean Paper Weaving - Jiseung and Hanji

Recently I came across jiseung, which is Korean paper weaving. I must admit I'd never heard of the ancient craft, found it fascinating, and hope you'll enjoy learning about the process as much as I did.

jiseung chamber potchamber pot

Master jiseung weaver, Na Seo Hwan, uses hanji, a handmade paper of pulp from the bark of the paper mulberry tree. Because the making of hanji and the weaving process require intense labor, time, and hand strength, there are very few remaining masters in Korea.

two sheafs of hanji cordshanji cords - rolled and unrolled

Mr. Na weaves hanji cords to form practical, lightweight pots. Sticky rice glue is applied as a waterproofing agent, and the pots can be coated with layers of lacquer made from the sap of the lacquer tree, the vapors of which can be quite poisonous.

three woven hanji chamber pots, two white and one blackexamples: the white pots are coated with sticky rice paste and the black pot is lacquered

Here's a lovely video made by Aimee Lee that shows Na Seo Hwan in action.

Watching the smooth process had me marveling about the experimenting, trials, and tribulations that surely went into perfecting the creation of such beautifully balanced objects.

Another post about Aimee's Korean Paper Art that you might enjoy.

photos: Aimee Lee

Ann Martin
Ann Martin

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