The Noranggul Keunbulttegi 2011 Jeju Onggi Kiln Festival for Korean earthenware pottery will be held from Dec. 14 to 17 in Shinpyeong-ri, Daejeong-eup, Seogwipo City.
With Noranggul referring to the Jeju traditional kiln and Keunbulttegi to the process of building a large fire to bake pottery, this festival’s focus is not as much on the pottery itself but upon the processes required during its creation. Due to the amount of work necessary to prepare these kilns and to stoke the fire, potters are only able to bake their clay once or twice a year. This festival is held when a year’s worth of work for some Jeju traditional potters comes to its conclusion.
The process of making pottery includes a number of steps such as molding the clay, constructing the kiln, preparing earth, and building a fire. For this year’s festival, the main theme is the process of building the fire to bake clay. In fact, there is a specific fire-building master who will lead the event. This is the first time this festival has been held and its theme will change next year to another aspect of the creation of earthenware.
Throughout the four days, the potters and their apprentices will go through the 14 steps of building the fire, under the guidance of the fire-building master.
There will also be events during the festival that will allow spectators hands-on experience like making and decorating their own pottery, engraving earthen tiles, shaping clay with a spinning wheel, and other interactive events. The program also includes a display of documents on the subject of pottery, a video showing pottery being created, and tours of earthenware-related historic sites like fields that house Jeju traditional kilns.
This festival is organized by the Jeju Traditional Onggi Preservation Society. The society was established in 2008 by some 10 master potters and now it has 300 members from both Jeju and the mainland. The chief of the society Huh Eun Suk said, “Come to the festival and see the superior quality of Jeju pottery for yourselves.”
Jeju Traditional Onggi Preservation Society 32 Chusa-ro 270, Daejeong-eup, Seogwipo City
ⓒ Jeju Weekly 2009 (http://www.jejuweekly.com)
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