Mastering Ceramics

One of the classes I registered for at Hanyang University and wanted to document was the Ceramic Arts class.  As ceramics is an ancient art and quite special to Korea’s history and culture, there is no better place to learn it. This class filled up almost instantly and the summer institute had to add slots for it four times to accommodate the large mass of students from around the world who wanted to learn it.

As all classes in Hanyang that get started right away, Ceramic Arts was no different.  On the first day, you learn about the fundamentals of ceramics and the process. You also begin hands-on work right away. We used clay to create stamps with our initials on them to stamp future works.  

On the second day, the assignment was to create cups using the pinching technique. While there is an assignment for each class, the professor gives you a lot of artistic freedom, so many students were able to make other things after creating their cups such as teapots, plates, saucers, and other cute trinkets!

Lastly, on the third day we made bowls. It’s extremely interesting because you get two different colors of clay, and you have to make one bowl in each clay, but the clays fire differently at the end.

Before each class, the professor takes about thirty minutes to do a demonstration for the students on the day’s assignments. She also demonstrates how to create different variations of the assignment and leaves a lot for you to decide as you get to take home everything you make (leave room in your suitcase!)

The studio at Hanyang takes up almost an entire floor with classrooms, firing rooms, wheel rooms, glaze rooms and much more. It’s really cool to see how much Hanyang takes care of this art form, and they provide the students with all the supplies, there’s just a 50,000 won fee (roughly $50USD) which is less than most lab fees at Drexel!

Through the Design building, Hanyang has entire hallways and rooms dedicated to display ceramics created by students, professors, and other professionals.

The professor of the class actually speaks very little English, but she has a translator, and a couple of teacher assistants who are ceramic majors at Hanyang University. I thought the class was a bit difficult to get the hang of, but the professors, translator, and teacher’s assistants are very helpful and nice when they come around and help you!

I’m looking forward to the next three weeks in Ceramics art and I really appreciate having the opportunity to learn things that aren’t available at Drexel.

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