SIZE: Approximately 10 cm x 4 cm (4 inches x 1.5 inch)
Cranes and Clouds
This amazing work of art is handcrafted with a traditional design of cranes and clouds. Both of these symbols are used extensively through Korean artwork and are rooted in its Buddhist past. Cranes symbolize longevity and the spiritual. Many Asians believe that people who live lives of virtuous solitude become cranes when they die. Clouds are another Buddhist symbol and are the medium upon which people ride for the ascent to the sky once they have accumulated enough good deeds. Once they enter the next world, they are reincarnated into a human Buddha.
The History of Celadon
Although celadon was developed in China around 200 AD, Korea perfected it and brought it to a new level. Around 900 AD, during the Goryeo Dynasty, master potters in the Gangjin area of southwest Korea developed an exciting new technique called ‘sanggam.’ Sanggam carves designs into partially dried clay which are then filled with slip (wet clay) of different colors. The celadon glaze is fine and translucent enough for the underlying colors to show through, creating an inlaid effect so delicate that the designs appear to be created with brushstrokes.
Throughout the Goryeo period, Korean celadon vases were in high demand by the royal courts in Korea and abroad. This came to an abrupt end with the Mongolian invasion in the 13th century. Other styles and designs became popular over the years but during the Joseon Dynasty master potters once again turned to learning and mastering the sanggam technique. Since the end of the Joseon Dynasty in the early 1900s, potters have continued creating sanggam designs and today, they are combining old techniques with modern aesthetics to create masterful works of art.