Dispatches from South Korea: Jang Ji Bang

This is the final installment of Jenn Pescoe’s amazing coverage from her recent travels to South Korea.

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Being shown the raw mulberry bark used to make Hanji paper. From what we could understand — we’re pretty sure everything was grown and harvested onsite.

The final chapter to my Korean trip was a quick car ride from Seoul to visit Jang Ji Bang paper mill. If you’ve ever spent time with any serious papermakers you might hear about the long history of Korean paper, Hanji, or the difference between Korean and Japanese papers. Here’s your trumpcard: talking about the whole process of traditional Korean papermaking as rigorously studied by Aimee Lee under the masters at Jang Ji Bang.

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Below are some pictures of this modest, and amazing, studio. Everyone there was so extremely kind and enthusiastic in sharing their knowledge with us — it was a truly humbling experience. All pictures, unless noted, were taken by Erin Paulson. (Please note: I am only a novice student in the art of papermaking, my notes are not the most comprehensive; so please be kind.)

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After the bark is left to sit outside and smoked (to loosen the layers of bark) it is brought inside and and cleaned by the mother and other various family members of the master paper-maker. And I thought my mother was supportive…

Many, many, many, many, many more pictures after the jump!

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A pulp beater that can literally take your hand off!

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A beautiful shot of the water vat with pulp.
Check out the sweet set up for greater ease in pulling huge sheets by yourself!

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Showing the mucilage, a formation aid added to the water vat, taken from the root of the Hibiscus plant.

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Pulling a sheet like it’s just another day.

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A finished, couched, sheet.

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After pressed, finished sheets are pulled to be hung and dried. At this point in the process they look just like fabric!

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Buckets. Of. Gold.

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A shot of the store room. So many different kinds of paper. By J. Pascoe.

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A demonstration using a strip of the white paper (bottom right) to make paper cord by hand that can be wound into a ball (bottom left, green) and then later woven into things like baskets (upper right), lamps, or other containers. Not surprisingly our kind guide also practices Korean calligraphy and has found time for a Master’s degree in conservation. What can’t he do? By J. Pascoe.

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A beautiful example of some woven paper crafts.

 A special thanks to Jenn and her classmates for sharing their amazing trip with us.

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Categories: Current Events, Print-related


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