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Inlaid Imagery: A Different Way to Draw through Korean Ceramics

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Design +4 Age Levels Elementary (9 to 12 years old), Middle School (13 to 15 years old), High School (16 to 18 years old)

This collection briefly introduces the art of incision and inlay in ancient Korean ceramics as a unique method of creating imagery that can be both meaningful and beautiful. While these traditional ceramics known as celadon were not unique to Korea, as a functional art form they did reach new heights of craft and expression during the Goryeo Dynasty (935-1392) thanks to design innovations. One of the most notable modifications made by Korean potters was the practice of cutting away some clay (incising) and adding a different type (inlay), to create contrasts, patterns, shapes, images, and other visual and physical effects. 

As with other kinds of traditional Korean visual art, the images created on ceramics include familiar Korean folks motifs such as animals, plants, or elements of nature that carried specific aspirational meanings. This collection also provides examples of such folk images portrayed in ceramics, and explores some examples of such symbolism, as an inspiration for users to create their own images in a creative workshop. 

In terms of end goals, this collection will:

  1. Introduce Korean traditional incised ceramics 
  2. Help users learn to recognize the technique
  3. Introduce Korean folk images portrayed in such ceramics, and their symbolic nature
  4. Inspire users to create their own Korean folk-style image