Before covid came about, we had gone to Korea for a couple of extended trips to visit my husband’s family — mainly his sweet halmoni (grandma) who, on our last visit in 2018, celebrated her 100th birthday. It was really rough on everyone involved to not be able to go there over the last 5 years but it has gotten easier to visit now (we couldn’t quite wrap our heads around what their mandatory quarantine in a hotel would look like for a family) and our third daughter just completed a mission for our church there. So we are heading over there with four out of six daughters and are anxious to visit halmoni. She is a lot more fragile at 104 and in a senior care facility that only allows us to see her for 10 minutes a week. In between visits with her, we will also get to see the areas that Chloe served in, we’ll get to eat all of our favorite Korean food (can you really have a favorite when it is all so good?), we'll visit friends + family and see Korea through the goggles of spring. (Most of our family has only been in the fall/winter)
How is this related to pottery? In a round about way, it kind of is. I feel like my love for simple shapes and designs are rooted in my ties to Korea. Last time we visited, I hadn’t discovered pottery yet, but I found myself always window shopping for ceramics. The shaping of my bowls come from the traditional Korean rice bowl. My limited color palette comes from their understated and modern style. In 2018, all of our belongings were in a storage container while we built our house and lived in a trailer — which is another reason why four months in Korea sounded like a good idea. Buying all of my dishes at that time seemed like a bad idea since there was definitely no room in the inn, but I kept telling myself that on our first trip after the house was done, I would outfit our kitchen with a plethora of korean dishes. Our house was finished in May of 2020 so a trip to Korea was not a possibility in the midst of covid. In August of 2020, I started learning how to throw. Although I definitely plan on bringing home a few pieces that speak to me, I no longer plan on stocking up on dishes at daiso. (daiso: think elevated dollar store experience). I plan on bringing home inspiration and ideas to fuel my creative process. I plan on bringing home ideas to better help me form and shape my pottery. I will probably take a few terabytes of pottery related pictures to inspire better uses of texture and color. How could you not be inspired in a country that has such a rich and long history of ceramics?
In summary, this potter plans to geek out on pottery throughout this adventure. What will come of it? Only the years will tell.