Two weeks ago I had a fun day ogling and purchasing a few pieces of lovely and practical Korean ceramics in the City of Yeoju, a 90-minute drive east of Seoul. Welcome to week 325 (4/27/2017) of Travel Photo Thursday. Come in and see the pieces that will be making their way back to Canada and my new condo later this year.
If you are in Seoul and you want to purchase Korean ceramics or pottery, avoid the touristy shops in Itaewon or Insadong. Instead, grab a public bus or find a tour going to Yeosu. The city has been producing quality ceramics and pottery for centuries. Here you will pay a quarter of the price for the same vase or dish-set you may have eyed in downtown Seoul.
Our first stop didn’t look like much, but once inside there were lots to choose from.
Korean Ceramics for Sale
My first purchase was this stunning white-on-white celadon short vase with cranes for a mere $20.00. I priced a similar piece in Itaewon a few days later, less than half the size and the shopkeeper quoted me $40.00.
Our next stop was a shop with loads of gorgeous tableware in a rainbow of colours. I love tea, and could not pass up this stunning teapot ($25.00). This was a fab bargain as we found them sporting much higher price tags in other shops. I can’t wait to brew my first pot of tea! The bamboo handle is perfectly heat resistant.
This stunning piece had my name written all over it for a mere $25.00.
This dragon vase was my absolute favourite piece of the day. I lusted over it for quite a while, but in the end, walked away. I think it would be a nightmare to ship back to Nova Scotia, and I would be heartbroken if it arrived in pieces. However, it was almost a steal at 80,000W. I priced a similar piece in Itaewon a few days later and was quoted two million Won (over $2000 US). The shopkeeper in Itaewon went on about the famous artist who had made the one she was trying to sell me. When I asked her to show me the artist’s signature I thought she was going to faint. I walked away chuckling to myself. Believe me, when I say, don’t buy Korean ceramics in downtown Seoul. Update: I did go back and purchase this dragon vase a week later. It arrived back in Canada in one piece and looks beautiful in my new home.
Kimchi Pots for Sale
This shop sells every size kimchi pot imaginable and with this gorgeous cherry blossom tree in full bloom what an opportunity to take this stunning photo. I did not even entertain the thought of purchasing one of these pots. They are HEAVY. My tour was all Americans from the base, and they have shipping allowances, so quite a few purchased multiple pots to take home to the States. They make nice coffee or end tables.
This was strictly a shopping tour, so we didn’t see anything being thrown, or baking in the kiln. There is a ceramics/pottery festival in a few weeks. I’m planning to go, and I want to see the potters at work. I was fascinated to see the ongii pottery being produced last year.
If you are in Seoul, and you want to do some Korean ceramics shopping in Yeoju you can take the subway. Details here. The tour I took is organized by the American base, and I tagged along with an American friend. SIWA (Seoul International Women’s Association) sometimes offers a tour, and you don’t have to be a SIWA member. Check out their page.
Have you ever purchased a piece of Korean ceramics? Let us know in the comments.
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