Originating in the first 200 years of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910), Bun- cheong ware refers to an expressive style of pottery deriving from the Koryo Dynasty’s “green-ware” pottery, commonly reffered to as celadon. Just as the case with celadon, Buncheong ware employs a stoneware clay similar (albeit a coarse-grade) to that of its Koryo predecessors. However, the word “buncheong” is a rather contemporary term, coined in the 1930s by Go Yu-seop, South Korea’s first art historian; it translates literally as “gray-green ceramics decorated with powder.”
Buncheong ware tends to reflect a similar tonality to celadon, which is identifiable by its iconic green glaze. Due to the significantly coarser grade of Buncheong clays, however, potters often use a white slip beneath the top glaze as a means of smoothing the wares’ surfaces.
Young Sook Park first began creating Buncheong ware in the late 1970s, over a decade before she endeavored the difficult task of working with white porcelain clay.
The stoneware clays employed in Buncheong pottery are more forgiving; unlike porcelain, the raw material is thicker and less elastic, thereby making it easier to mold. Additionally, Buncheong clays are fired at lower temperatures, rendering the forms markedly less vulnerable to collapsing in the kiln.
The coarser nature of these clays allowed Ms. Park to experiment with scale and technique, providing a unique artistic foundation for her porcelain mas-terpieces.