Onggi Pottery festival

This is an annual festival held in the Oegosan Pottery village, which is between Ulsan and Busan. Onggi is the traditional Korean earthenware brown pots that are used to store kimchi over the long winter, so it can ferment. They have been made and used for centuries but very few fragments of pots remain as once a pot has been split into pieces it will then fully break down. However, intact pots are very durable to heat, sunlight, rain and cold.

The pots are fired in large clay wood burning kilns, which are built up the side of a hill.

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IMG_0637The pots are all stacked inside each of the different domes and then sealed in. As the chimney is at the high end of the kiln the heat is pulled upwards making each of the domes a different temperature. The lower domes are a mere 200c whilst the upper ones reach a stagger 1200c.

IMG_0649 IMG_0634It wasn’t clear if these traditional kilns were still in use as we did see a modern large kiln.

The pots come in a huge range of shapes and sizes and the artisans working on them have obviously adapted to the reduced demand for traditionally made kimchi, making flower pots, lights, water features and also having a bit of fun with them.

As the festival was happening there was lots to see and do from watching pot making, shows, a parade and we even got to take part in a tea ceremony.

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  1. Trackback: Last day of 2013 | Same me, different country

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