Working full time as a potter is a dream for a lot of people, and a reality for only some. It’s not an easy career path, even if it is a rewarding and creative one. Working artists in general were on my mind when I traveled to the Republic of Korea last week to attend the opening for the Gyeonggi International Ceramics Biennale (GICB). I was a member of the biennale’s International Committee, and in addition to the advisory work, and seeing the finalized exhibitions, I took part in a ceramics-focused tour. This gave me the opportunity to meet a few working potters in different parts of the country. We visited potters as they fired their wood kilns in Oegosan Onggi Village. We also had the chance to watch Heongyu Kim, who has made a living as a potter in Gyeongju for over 30 years, demonstrate how he uses traditional Onggi tools and techniques in his studio to make a variety of forms using earthenware clay. During our tour of Yido Ceramics in Yeoju, we met some of the many potters who worked in the small dinnerware factory and showroom. The six artists who are a part of this issue’s working potters focus write about how they have combined their studio know-how with business and marketing skills (learned from mentors or on the job) and personal strengths.
–Jessica Knapp, editor.
Subscriber Extras (Subscribers can view this issue online!)