Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Celadon Pottery Festival

The famous Korean Celadon Pottery gets it's name from the color - "celadon" means "green" and refers to the pale gray or bluish green color of the ceramics.  Koreans first learned the art of ceramics from Japan, but refined their processes to develop a distinctive art of their own.  Their celadon ranges from a plain, undecorated type to objects with incised, carved, mold-impressed, or inlaid designs, and to vessels embellished with colorful compounds like iron oxide (black or brown) and copper oxide (red), and also with gold.  South of Seoul, celadon pottery artisans demonstrate and sell their wares.

The festival celebrated ceramic art of many styles and forms.  We enjoyed the diverse creativity.  I had to smile at the artistic features found in the ladies restroom.

Celadon pottery can be quite expensive, and many pieces easily cost thousands of dollars.  Given the labor intensive processes involved, I can understand why.  I limited my souvenir purchase today to this little piece of jewelry.  The crane, a commonly used theme in celadon pottery represents immortality.

War and Peace


Trying to make the most of a rainy Saturday, Bob and I decided to visit the Korean War Museum.  Each experience at such sites increases my understanding of the horror of war and deepens my appreciation for times of peace.  The Koreans are very grateful to Americans for the assistance given them during the Korean War.  Without that assistance, the free republic of South Korea would not exist.

U.S. General Douglas MacArthur's hat, glasses and pipe!  He came to the aid of South Korea at a crucial time and helped them regain their land.  Interestingly however, he was pulled out by our government because he wanted to proceed into North Korea to capture more territory.  Instead, the United States, North Korea and China signed an armistice, which ended the war but failed to bring peace. To date, the Republic of Korea (South) and Democratic Peoples' Republic of Korea (North) have not signed a peace treaty. North and South Korea did sign a non-aggression treaty in 1991.

The museum also featured some replicas and relics from earlier confrontations with Japan.  The "Turtle Ship" was invented in the 1500's with it's spike-covered deck top to prevent enemy warriors from jumping into their ships.

 I like their colorful war drums, banners, and apparel which remind me of the movie "Kung-fu Panda".

Do we worry about the continual threats from North Korea?  No, we choose to live in faith, not fear!


Speaking of faith, a friend wanted to visit the Myeong-dong Cathedral which is near our home, so she invited me along.  Built in 1898, it is the first brick church in Korea built in the Gothic style, and pays tribute to many Christian martyrs who died in persecutions in 1839 and 1866.

 Thankfully, we are at peace!

Spring in Seoul

Seoul is coming to life with the colors of spring.  After winter's long cold grip on the city, we are welcoming the beautiful tree blossoms and flowers adorning the city and surrounding hills.  Enjoy spring in Seoul with us!