2017 Summer in Japan and Korea: Onggi Ceramics with Master Anshi Sung

You might remember Anshii Sung, the Onggi Master, from this Guest post way back in 2012

Anshi Sung and Mr Hong

Anshi Sung makes his own clay, hand throws all of his pieces on a kick wheel, and wood fires them in a 250 year old climbing kiln built by the Jesuits.  His work is some of the highest quality ceramic I’ve used and he truly elevates functional onngi pieces into an art-form.

Way back in 2012, I got to spend 4 days (trying to) making onngi wares under Anshi’s instruction. I found the clay to be raw and brittle and incredibly hard to work with – which is all the more testament to Anshi’s skill.

The age of the kiln means it needs repair after every firing, and makes loosing a few pieces a certainty:

the inside of a 250 year old kiln

And yet, as ever, it is always the kindness of my friends that surprises me the most. After all of the gifts of ceramics, Anshi Sung and Mr Hong brought us to “Makgeolli House” for one of the never-ending-courses style of Korean meals that the Jolla provinces are famous for.

You know that moment where you think you're done and the Koreans are like "that was just the first course" and you realize you're going to need to eat twice as much as you planned

It’s great to be back!

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