Friday, January 23, 2015

Hanji kits

This week I've tried to maximize my time and instead of cutting Hanji items out of cardboard by hand, I decided to piece together some of the kits I've collected over the years. Many of these kits are more than 10 years old and have been with me since I left Korea and during my travels to different countries around the world.

These days I usually cut out my own items using a thick cardboard and a very sharp craft knife using one of the patterns I've drawn up.  The beauty of this is that because of a lot of trial and correction over the years I now know that everything fits nicely. There's always the odd occasion when lines aren't cut as precisely as they should be and small tweaks need to be made, but they're usually very easily correctable.


What I've found is that I can't assume that the kits are going to be better and quicker as well as producing a more precise article. You would expect that this would be the case with machinery doing the cutting with precision and power, but that's not necessarily the case.


Cut by hand

One of the lamp kits I used was so bad that the lid didn't fit and after 3 lots of adjustment I finally decided to completely redo the sides to accommodate the lid. Angles cut tended to be very inaccurate and didn't fit exactly which meant a lot of work to fill in gaps before covering with my beautiful Hanji papers. Along with that some lids on boxes were either sloppy or tight which meant resizing to make them fit.

By all means use kits you've been able to buy in Korea or online as they're always advertised as an attractively finished product but just be aware that it's the foundation of an article which dictates the quality of the item. 

From my experience, I've found that the kits that I've been able to get aren't always the quickest and easiest way to produce a quality Hanji piece and I'd be interested to know if there is a  company who makes well cut kits for Hanji.





Monday, January 19, 2015

Life so interesting .......

My time has suddenly got busier as I prepare for my Hanji Exhibition, 'HANJI - ..from paper to purpose', in April.  It seems ages away but I know all too well that time will fly and with other commitments along the way I'd hate to run out of time and not complete the tasks I've set for myself. 

I'm one of those annoying people who have to get things just right and I probably spend too much time on achieving the highest level I possibly can but I guess that's what makes me the person I am and makes my work unique. 

I have lists written up all around the room for things I'd like to achieve each day and sometimes I do all of them plus some, and others, there's no way it's going to happen. I guess they'll all out-way each other in the long run and the main thing is that everything gets done in the end.


Renovations on our house are almost complete and we're really pleased with what we've achieved to make our living more comfortable and more our style  and so now, my mind can shift to more enjoyable pursuits like Hanji. My Hanji room is getting plenty of use as I experiment with new ideas and I do feel blessed that I now have the space in which to be creative.

I continue to learn something new about Hanji almost every day and it's exciting to put those things into practice but as I've mentioned before, doing Hanji in Adelaide is all about doing it yourself.  You can't pop around or call someone and chat to them about what you're doing, nor can you throw around ideas on how to do things but, that does mean you have to learn the hard way through trial and error and that what you do is completely your own. 


This will change as time goes on and I'm hoping the exhibition will introduce a large number of people to this craft so that they'll want to learn to make things themselves leading to a Hanji community  here in this city.
  
Immediately after the Exhibition I'll be heading to Korea for 6 weeks and have several things organized over there so I'm excited about what's to come but I won't share with you just yet but instead, I'll wait until closer to the time.

In the meantime I'll continue to update you each week through my blog and as the Exhibition gets closer I'll pass on information on my progress and things that I have discovered about Hanji. Please bear with me as we go on this journey together.

Friday, January 9, 2015

'Hanji - from paper to purpose' exhibition, etc ......

 2015 is shaping up to be one of my most exciting Hanji years yet.




I'll be holding a Hanji exhibition here in Adelaide entitled 'Hanji - from paper to purpose', from April 3rd to 26th at Mrs Harris' Shop Gallery in Torrensville, just 10 mins from the city of Adelaide.

This means a lot of work between now and then as I look forward to making some new pieces of Hanji, including a new photographic collection as well as a Traditional Korean and a modern collection. I will not only display and have for sale pieces of my Hanji but also, I'll be explaining what Hanji is all about with posters and pictures of paper making, along with hands on demonstrations and an audio visual display.

As far as I'm aware this is a first for Adelaide  and I look forward to including the Korean community in this event.


After the exhibition I'll be heading to South Korea to attend the Jeonju Hanji Culture festival which is expected to take place on the first weekend in May.  I visited this Festival in 2002 when I was living there and I'm looking forward to seeing how it's changed and grown over the years as well as to support a Canadian friend of mine, Natalie Thibault, who will most likely have a stall and be the only non Korean to do so.

When I return to Seoul I'll be doing a month long course of Hanji instruction from a well known Korean artist in Seoul.  Whilst there I'll have the opportunity to brush up on my techniques as well as learning new ones. As I'm sure you're aware, it's important  to have feed back on your work so you can continue to grow in your chosen field. Doing Hanji away from Korea normally means doing it on your own with no one else to throw ideas around with so this is where building a community of ex pat hanji lovers through the blog and on social media is so important.

With these plans in place and a renewed resolution to keep up my postings for another year I can't wait to move forward and see what's in store for me as I continue on my Hanji journey.

My inspirational saying for 2015 is

 " ....if you fail to plan you plan to fail " 
 by Benjamin Franklin