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History of Korean Ceramics - 2

Celadon of Goryeo

The celadon of Goryeo is a type of earthenware made of clay, glazed, and then fired at a high temperature around 1,150℃. Iron is contained in the clay and glaze used for celadon. Celadon and white porcelain began to be produced from the 10th century when Goryeo was in its early period. From the 11th century, double-stage firing became common. The first stage of firing was done at 700–800℃, and the second stage was done after glazing. There was a technical prerequisite for the production of celadon: kiln facilities that could render a high temperature over 1,000℃ and the technique of glazing with lye that dissolves at a high temperature. Another technical prerequisite was firing with a minimum oxygen supply in the kiln for rendering of the jade-green color of celadon.

Earthenware that was glazed with enamel and then fired at over 1,000℃ was already being produced on the Korean Peninsula in the Unified Silla period. Therefore, the completion of the celadon technique in the Goryeo era may have been a natural consequence of technical development. However, it is thought that not only technical factors but also others including political and cultural changes artificially advanced the completion of the celadon-production techniques during the Goryeo period.

1. Background of the Production of Goryeo Celadon
A lot of changes took place in society, the economy, and culture by the end of the Silla period and the beginning of Goryeo. In neighboring China as well, dynasties changed in the Central Plain area from Tang to the Five Dynasties and then to Song. In the area north of the Korean Peninsula, the Khitans were expanding their territory. Goryeo, founded by Wang Geon by the end of the Silla period, grew in the region of the mid-west coastal area on the Korean Peninsula, as well as in Gyeonggi-do, Gangwon-do, and Hwanghae-do. Wang Geon was a member of an influential family that accumulated huge wealth from trade, mainly in the area of Gaeseong in the North Korean region. Goryeo not only engaged in political exchanges with China but also accumulated great wealth through international trade. The dynasty also learnt and accepted advanced foreign culture and technology. Goryeo learned about celadon and white porcelain, which were totally different from earthenware that had been used before then, and actively accepted those new types of ceramics. This eventually laid the foundation for the domestic production of celadon and its emergence as a new industry.

By the end of the Unified Silla period, Zen Buddhism, which had created a sensation in China around that time, was introduced to Korea in earnest through Silla's Buddhist pilgrims who studied abroad in Tang China. In line with the introduction of Zen Buddhism, tea and tea drinking culture also became popular. Such culture spread throughout China during the Tang Dynasty era and drew great popularity, to an extent that books about tea such as The Classic of Tea by Lu Yu (733–804) were published. The most famous tea bowls in China produced at that time were the Yuezhouyao celadon bowls and Xingzhouyao white porcelain bowls. Indeed, many pieces of Chinese ceramics including the Yuezhouyao and Xingzhouyao tea bowls were discovered from the historic sites of Unified Silla. Notably, ceramics for tea drinking imported from China were mostly discovered from the remains of royal palaces, large-scale Buddhist temples, and bases of major maritime powers, which indicates that they were used by upper-class people and Buddhist priests. It seems that the ceramics for tea drinking, which were imported from China, were treasured by the people of those times, and the demand for the domestic production of those ceramics rose under such cultural circumstances.
Kiln
2. Origin and Characteristics of Celadon Technique in the Early Goryeo Period
The most important step for understanding the technical aspects of the production of Korean celadon is to understand the structure of the kiln, the facility for ceramics production. How Goryeo could succeed in producing celadon and where its techniques originated can be understood by looking into the attributes and changes in the early forms of celadon kilns.

The kilns used to produce Goryeo celadon were largely divided into two types: brick kilns and clay-built kilns.

Brick kilns and clay-built kilns were different in many aspects. First, brick kilns were much bigger than clay-built kilns, as most brick kilns were approximately 40 meters long in total and 2 meters wide, while the total length of clay-built kilns was about 10–20 meters and the width approximately 1.2 meters. Therefore, the number of ceramics that could be made in one round of firing, the volume of firewood required, and the necessary labor were different between the two types of kilns.

Secondly, the two types of kilns were located in different regions. Many brick kilns were discovered in the Gyeonggi-do area including Yongin, Siheung, Yeoju, Goyang, and Yangju. Some others were located in Hwanghae-do and Chungcheongnam-do, indicating that most of the brick kilns were used in the mid-west region of the Korean Peninsula. Most clay-built kilns were found in Gangjin, Haenam, and Goheung in Jeollanam-do and some others in Gochang, Jeollabuk-do, and Chilgok, Gyeongsangbuk-do, so they were mostly used in southwestern region of Korea.

Thirdly, different forms and types of ceramics were produced from those kilns. Then, what is the reason for such differences in almost all aspects of the two types of kilns? The answer is because their technical origins were different. Brick kilns were discovered to have been influenced by Chinese celadon techniques, more precisely, the Yuezhouyao technique developed in Zhejiang Province, while clay-built kilns are thought to have been made based on the foundation of Korea's traditional ceramics technique with a partial integration of new Chinese kiln techniques.

One of the most famous types of celadon produced in the early Goryeo era was bowls with a halo-shaped foot. Such a name was given as the area of the foot contacting the ground is wide that it looks like a halo. It is called yùbìdǐ (round bowl with round foot) in Chinese. Such celadon was mainly produced in the eight century during the Tang Dynasty era. Before precise archaeological investigation on the remains of the kiln sites from the early Goryeo period was conducted, the time of the birth of Goryeo celadon had been estimated to be the eighth century, during the Unified Silla period. Such estimation was made based on the fact that many celadon bowls with halo-shaped feet were discovered on the surface of the sites where kilns were located in the early Goryeo period and their form was similar to Chinese ones from the Tang Dynasty.

However, active discussions about the time of the birth of celadon were initiated after excavation investigations on kiln sites in Seo-ri in Yongin and Wonsan-ri in Baecheon were conducted. There, a sedimentary layer with a clearly identifiable archeological strata was examined. Interestingly, not the bowls with halo-shaped feet but bowls with a narrower contact area on the foot in the style of the Five Dynasties Era in China of the 10th century, called yùhuándǐ (round bowl with narrower ring-shaped foot), was discovered in the lowest strata, which was formed the earliest. This discovery revealed that the time of the production of first celadon in Goryeo was around the 10th century during the Five Dynasties Period in China.
Inlaid celadon (left), Celadon Incense Burner with Lion-Shaped Lid (right)
3. Jade-Green Celadon
From the 10th century, when the production of celadon began mainly in the central region of the Korean Peninsula, until the 11th century, when Gangjin emerged as the center of the ceramics industry, the quality, shape, and design of celadon were stabilized. The celadon produced in the 11th century shows stronger color and characteristics unique to Goryeo, rather than an exotic tone, as the diplomatic relationship between Goryeo and Northern Song China was severed due to invasion from the Khitans. By the 12th century, the relationship with Northern Song Dynasty was recovered and more of Goryeo's unique color was expressed in the process of creating celadon as well, based on the accumulated techniques. In other words, celadon at that time was already widely used in the daily lives of people and further developed in new forms unique to them as they actively accepted and blending in the formative and functional merits of earthenware or metalware that had long been in used.

The circumstances of those times can be guessed from Xuānhwafengshi Gaolitujing (宣和奉使高麗圖經, Xuanhe Commissioner's Illustrated Account of Goryeo), a journal written by Xu Jing, who was an ambassador of Song China sent to Goryeo in the first year of King Injong's reign (1123). Xu Jing explained about Goryeo's celadon incense burner and celadon pot as seen in the eyes of the Chinese in detail in Xuānhwafengshi Gaolitujing, saying, "The people of Goryeo call earthenware with greenish color jade-green." His statement shows that the people of Goryeo distinguished their own celadon from Chinese ones by calling their own "jade-green ( 翡色)," differently from the Chinese perception of the color of their celadon as "celadon-green (秘色)." Such a difference in the name of the color of celadon can be seen as an expression of Goryeo's own aesthetic sense of celadon distinguished from China. Jingdezhen Taolu (Book of Ceramic Works Produced at Jingdezhen Kiln) written in the era of the Qing Dynasty of China says that Goryeo's celadon has all the characteristics of the Chinese ceramics of Yuezhou-yao, Nansong Guanyao, and Ruyao, the famous ceramics workshops of China, but out of them, gourd-shaped bowls and glasses, as well as lion-shaped incense burners, are quite different from Chinese ones. This explanation implies that Goryeo had an independent celadon production system and technique but absorbed influences from China as well.

As such, the jade-green color of Goryeo's celadon was admired and extolled by the Chinese most ardently in the 12th century. Xiù Zhōng Jǐn, a book written by an old man of Southern Song who was called an "old man of great peace," includes Goryeo celadon in the list of the world's masterpieces, saying, "tea of Jiànzhōu, silk of Shu, white porcelain from Dingzhou, tea of Zhejiang... Goryeo celadon's jade-green color... They are the world's best which can never be imitated by others." Notably, the book deems the white porcelain from Dingzhou from Hebei Province of China as the world's best porcelain, while recognizing Goryeo's jade-green celadon as the world's best celadon. Recently, excavation of a considerable volume of Goryeo celadon from the ruins of buildings sites or royal palaces in a region of the capital of Southern Song near Hangzhou in Zhejiang has been reported. Most of those excavated celadon are jade-green Goryeo celadon of the top quality. As such, Goryeo succeeded in achieving a celadon technique even better than that of China in only a century from the import of celadon producing techniques from China.

The completion of the "jade-green" color for Goryeo celadon is the proof of the kingdom's outstanding aesthetic sense that pursued the best celadon that even looked like jade gemstone, as well as an advanced ceramics technology that made the realization of such pursuit possible, as the jade-green color can be rendered only by blocking the inflow of oxygen and producing reduced flame atmosphere inside the kiln at the right timing during firing. In addition, as celadon became more widely used for people's daily lives, the formative and functional merits of the metalware and earthenware that had long been used generally for people's lives were blended into celadon, giving birth to Goryeo's unique formative art.

"The incense that the lion blows out is also jade-green. On the top, the animal is crouching, and below it, there is a lotus blooming upward," says Xu Jing, who was an ambassador of the Emperor of Song China sent to Goryeo in the first year of King Injong's reign (1123), in the "Ceramics and Braziers" chapter of volume 32, Utensils for Daily Use, of his journal Gaolitujing (高麗圖經, Illustrated Account of Goryeo). The shape of the incense burner depicted by Xu Jing is different from the Celadon Incense Burner with Lion-Shaped Lid, but the writing shows how celadon incense burners decorated with animal figures were used in the royal palace of Goryeo in early 12th century.

The Celadon Incense Burner with Lion-Shaped Lid has a lion-shaped lid placed on the bowl in which incense is burnt. The body of the burning bowl is cylindrical. Three animal-shaped legs made by pressing clay into a form are put under the body. A wide, nearly horizontal plate is put around the top of the body. There is also a raised lip on the body, which is made to prop up the lid. The body and the plate are decorated with a cloud pattern engraved in thin lines. On the side of the lid and the edge of the upper side are engraved a flower pattern and yeouidu pattern (a bracken-shaped geometric decorative pattern that was a lucky sign of fulfilling wishes). On them, the lion figure is perched.

The lion is looking towards the front, sitting with one of his legs bent upward. The eyes of the lion are painted to look realistic with red earth that contains much iron. Long whiskers stretch from the jaw, and curly hair is expressed on the side and back of the neck and on the rump. Its wide tail is straightened upward, to touch the back.

The color is light greyish green with a soft luster. The clear color is rendered from pure clay. A silica stone prop, used to support the piece during firing, still inside the lid demonstrates that it was fired as a top-quality product.

The smoke from the incense burnt in the body of the burner passes through the body of the lion and then comes out through its open mouth. Fragments of similar incense burners have been discovered from the kiln sites in Yongun-ri and Sadang-ri, Daegu-myeon, Gangjin-gun in Jeollanam-do, indicating where such incense burners had been produced in the past.
Celadon Tube-shaped Bottle with Willow Design in Underglaze Iron (left), Celadon Prunus Vase with Inlaid Cloud and Crane Design (right)
4. Diverse Decorative Techniques
The remains of the largest kilns that produced Goryeo celadon during its golden days are mostly located in Gangjin in Jeollanam-do and Buan in Jeollabuk-do. The kiln site in Gangjin is famous as the place where celadon was produced throughout the entire Goryeo period. A large proportion of Goryeo celadon discovered from those kiln sites are tableware, including tea instruments, but they also include building materials such as roof tiles and decorative tiles, makeup tools, and stationery, demonstrating the fact that celadon was widely used for many parts of the daily lives of the Goryeo people.

Celadon has its own originality different from earthenware and metalware in terms of its shape and production method. A wide variety of production methods different from those of earthenware were tried for celadon, in accordance with the quality of earth and purpose of production; the shapes were made by using molds based on wheel-thrown pieces, patterns were engraved, or parts with different shapes were separately produced and then joined together. Celadon can be categorized as plain celadon, engraved celadon, relief celadon, iron-underglazed celadon, copper-underglazed celadon, gold-painted celadon, iron-painted celadon, and so on. Plain celadon is celadon without any decorative patterns on the surface. Engraved celadon is plain celadon onto which flowers or other plant patterns or other types of decorative patterns are engraved. Relief celadon uses an embossed carving technique to create patterns to make them stand higher than the background. Iron-underglaze celadon is ones on which patterns are painted chemically by using a brush and iron coloring before glazing. Other than these types of celadon, there are also ones decorated in an openwork method, a technique of carving designs through the surface of a vessel, leaving the center hollow; ones with surfaces decorated by painting patterns with white clay; marbling wares for which clay of different colors are mixed together to make the surface of the celadon look like marble; celadon figurines that model persons or animals; as well as celadon illustration plates. In a word, the ceramists of Goryeo tried almost everything that man can do with earth and repeatedly experimented with different production methods. Those diverse techniques demonstrate the stages of completing the outstanding quality of Goryeo celadon. Now, let us look into famous techniques of Goryeo celadon.

(1) Engraving : The engraving technique creates patterns on the surface of celadon by carving away the material of the pattern. Engraving is largely divided into a technique of carving the pattern in thin lines at the same depth and a technique of carving patterns with thick lines at a greater depth to express a sense of volume by applying knife obliquely. A tool like a saw tooth was also used to properly express the volume of flower designs. A variety of plants, animals, and insects were carved on celadon with the technique of thin lines, among which the pattern of parrots was most widely used. Over the same period, similar techniques and patterns became popular for Yuezhouyaoin Zhejiang and Dingyao in Hebei Province, China. Engraved designs carved with a knife laid obliquely are seen in many pieces of Goryeo celadon.

(2) Relief technique : This method puts patterns on celadon by carving away the surface, similar to the engraving technique. According to the method of carving, the relief technique split between a carving relief technique for which a knife is used and a molded relief technique in which the design is imprinted by using a mold. While the most famous design created with the engraving technique was parrots, the pattern most widely made using the relief technique was lotus petals. Many layers of lotus petals decorated cups, glasses, plates, water droppers for calligraphy, ewers, and other pieces. Lotus petals were most often expressed across the entire surface of the celadon in three dimensions, to make the design look like a real lotus flower.
The molded relief technique is a method of obtaining the relief effect by imprinting designs on the inside or outside of objects by using molds. It is a way of putting a design into relief by imprinting from the inner surface of objects such as dishes or bowls or imprinting a design onto the outer surface of objects such as incense burners with a mold. When using design molds, objects with the same size, shape, and decoration can conveniently be produced repeatedly. As earthenware with delicate relief designs that require complicated techniques could be manufactured at a large volume within a short period of time, and potters other than skilled craftsmen could produce them using design molds, the relief technique was actively used from the mid-Goryeo period onward. The technique was most widely used in the northern region of China. Yaozhouyao produced in Shaanxi Province in the Northern Song period was the most famous for the technique.

(3) Iron-underglazing technique : For iron-underglaze celadon, the design is painted with iron pigment on the surface of the ceramic before glazing and firing. The first iron-underglazed earthenware produced in Goryeo was mostly white porcelain from brick kilns in the mid-west region of the Korean Peninsula. However, iron-underglaze earthenware began to be produced in earnest in the Haenam region in the form of celadon. There exist more than 80 celadon kiln sites in Jinsan-ri in Haenam. Lowgrade celadon made of rough clay in tan or yellowish green color was produced mostly at these kilns. As bowls with halo-shaped feet, the indicator artifact for the early Goryeo period, were discovered from those kilns, they are estimated to have been in operation from the early period to the mid-Goryeo era. Double-headed drums, prunus vases, and long-necked bottles decorated with iron-underglaze designs were discovered from many of those kilns. The iron-underglaze decoration in the early Goryeo period is mostly seen in special objects such as double-headed drums or pillows. This is the case for inlaid designs as well, so the use of black iron-underglaze decorations and inlaid designs are thought to have been limited only for objects with special usages in the early period of Goryeo. However, by the middle of the Goryeo era, not only diverse inlaid designs but also iron-underglaze decorations were applied to many different types of objects from utensils for daily life to larger goods manufactured at many different kilns. High-quality iron-underglaze celadon with beautiful designs on the surface, comparable to famous iron-underglaze celadon made in Haenam, have been passed down in Gangjin all the way until today.
However, iron-underglaze celadon with complicated designs across the entire surface of a large piece became very rare after the middle of the Goryeo period. Most of the iron-underglaze celadon produced from then onwards was small goods such as bowls, glasses, and plates simply decorated with flower designs of a few lines or dots. Glasses, plates, and inkstones decorated in the iron-underglazing method were included in the celadon brought up to the surface of the sea in the Taean area from a celadon trans port ship of the Goryeo era. Those celadon are thought to have been manufactured in the Gangjin area in the mid-Goryeo era. When putting a simple design on the surface of celadon in the iron-underglazing method, in most cases, it was applied together with the technique of painting or spotting patterns with white clay liquid, a trend shown by the double-headed drums of the early Goryeo period.
The decoration of painting black and white designs on the surface of celadon with brushes was widely applied to ceramics produced at kilns located in northern China. Notably, Cizhouyao, a kiln that manufactured ceramics made by creating an effect of white porcelain by covering the clay body with white clay liquid and then putting black-colored designs on the surface, seems to have had exchanged influences with Goryeo ceramics, in terms of design and figure.

(4) White clay painting technique : This is a technique of decorating an object by panting or spotting a design on the surface by using a gel-like white clay liquid. This technique is applied both independently and as a supplement to other decorative techniques. It was frequently applied together with the previously mentioned iron-underglazing technique, mostly as a simple auxiliary decorative technique of marking additional dots around iron-underglaze designs or adding lines. The tradition of putting designs on ceramics like painting by using brush and black and white pigments already appeared in the early period of Goryeo, as well as in ceramics created at kilns located in northern China. On the other hand, iron-underglazing and white clay liquid painting decorations were also widely used in combination. The ceramics produced in that way looked like ones decorated in the black-and-white inlaying technique that had advanced in a full-blown scale from the middle of the Goryeo period. This indicates that diverse decorative techniques for ceramics developed together and exchanged influences with one another and that multiple techniques were used in combination during the Goryeo period.

(5) Copper-underglazing technique : The copper-underglazing technique is a method of putting a design on the surface of ceramics by using oxidized copper as a pigment. It gives a deep red color in the state of reduced flame in a kiln. When used together with black-and-white inlaying, iron-underglazing, and white clay liquid painting techniques, the copper-underglazing technique enables decoration on celadon in different colors. As the technique came to be used along with other decorative techniques, ceramics gained a more colorful and splendid appearance. In some exceptional cases, celadon pieces with the entire surface painted with copper pigment were produced, too.

(6) Gold-painting technique : Celadon painted entirely with gold also exist, although they are very rare. These are mostly celadon of the top grade, whose insides and outsides are decorated with inlaid designs. After glazing and complete firing, gold is painted on the surface and then fired at a low temperature once again to help coloration and add splendor. Records in Goryeosa (History of Goryeo) confirm that gold-painted celadon was manufactured at the end of the 13th century and they were offered to the Yuan Dynasty China.

5. New Inlaid Celadon
At a certain point during the 12th century when the beauty of the jade-green color of Goryeo celadon reached its peak, the people of Goryeo boldly applied a new craft technique called "inlaying" to ceramics and achieved success. After a design of a line or face is carved on the body of celadon, the engraved part of the design or the background is filled with white clay or red earth and polished, and the celadon is glazed and fired. Then, the design is rendered on the surface in a white or black color, to create a strong color contrast on the greenish background of celadon.

The inlaying technique is an universal craft technique that has long been used in both Western and Eastern worlds of putting a substance whose properties, colors, or material are different from that of the background as decoration on the main body of an object. In Egypt, iron-inlaid ivory products or ceramics with inlaid decoration existed from before the Common Era. In Goryeo's metal craft, a metal-inlaid technique called "ipsa" (inlaying metal thread) was used. The use of such a technique is seen in ceramics discovered at the kiln sites for the early form of celadon, including the kiln site in Bangsan-dong, Siheung, and the kiln site in Seo-ri, Yongin, in Gyeonggi-do. There is also a very rare example of the technique being used for ceramic double-headed drums decorated with designs such as flower patterns simply made in the inlaying technique.

There were some examples of applying the inlaying technique to ceramics at some kilns located in Hebei Province or Shanxi Province in northern China from the Tang Dynasty until the Jin Dynasty period. However, a method of covering ceramics made of low-quality clay with bad color and texture by using white clay to hide its surface and putting inlaid decoration on it was mostly used by those Chinese kilns, which was totally different from Goryeo's technique of putting inlaid decoration directly on jadegreen celadon.

Goryeo's inlaid celadon began to be produced in earnest by the mid-12th century when the jade-green celadon technique reached its zenith. It was continuously manufactured through the end of the 12th century and 13th century, until the 14th century. In the Goryeo inlaid celadon that developed greatly mostly in the regions of Gangjin-gun and Buan-gun in Korea, the white and black clay put in the carved-out designs creates a stark color contrast against the jade-green background, presenting a new colorful and decorative aspect of ceramics different from the simple appearance of the celadon produced before then.

Most celadon was produced as tableware, and various celadon objects are thought to have been used by the royal family, aristocrats, and Buddhist priests, rather than by ordinary people. It is thought to have been used mostly at the royal palace. The outstanding techniques of Goryeo's exquisite and sophisticated craftwork that gave birth to eye-catching Buddhist paintings, lacquered ware inlaid with mother-of-pearl, inlaying with gold and silver, and silk were much reflected in celadon, demonstrating what the daily life of wealthy people was like at that time.

After the 13th and 14th century when Yuan invaded Goryeo, the quality of celadon was degraded except for a few top-notch products, and the outstanding beauty of the transparent jadegreen color could no longer be seen. The reason was because the exhaustion of state resources from wars against the Mongolian invasions resulted in difficulty in the production of celadon. High-level control and concentration for the process of celadon production was not possible any more, which resulted in lesser feelings of tension in design and slackened figurative beauty, glazing, and firing techniques. The consequence was downward leveling of celadon manufactured at small-scale kilns with simple decorative design. Surveys into kiln sites revealed that plates used to support ceramics during firing in kiln were used less and less, and low-grade firing techniques for easy manufacturing became widespread. Eventually, production of celadon with dark glazing color, many alien substances, and dull figures increased.

The inlaying technique has existed for a long period of time in the history of the world's ceramics, but there was no other era than the Goryeo period when such high-quality inlaying techniques were realized. The component composition was different for the clay for the body of celadon and the black and white clay used for inlaying, so the rate of their contraction and expansion when fired was also different. Therefore, there exist cases in which the inlaid part of design sinks lower than or extrudes over the background after the process of firing. However, the inlaid celadon of Goryeo has a smooth and even surface, as if the inlaid design was painted with white or black pigment. It shows how advanced was the understanding and technology about the properties of different types of earth the people of Goryeo had.

A prunus vase is a type of liquor container with a tall body and small mouth. It is found commonly in China, Korea, and Japan. The name is thought to have come from the figure of its mouth, which looks like an apricot flower, or from the custom of appreciating a branch of apricot flowers put in such a vase during the period of the Yuan and Ming dynasties of China.

The Celadon Prunus Vase with Inlaid Cloud and Crane Design, Korea's National Treasure No. 68, is the most typical type of celadon prunus vase. Its small and short basin-shaped mouth contrasts with its round, inflated upper body. The body narrows downward and then gets wider at the bottom again. It has more strongly inflated shoulder and slimmer waist than other typical Goryeo celadon prunus vases like National Treasure No. 97 and National Treasure No. 245, adding a feeling of tension.

The pattern is inlaid over the entire surface by using black (deep red) earth and white clay. Two white rings are inlaid under the neck and the pattern of yeouidu (a bracken-shaped geometric decorative pattern that was a lucky sign of fulfilling wishes) is put alongside the rings. The pattern of lotus petals is inlaid in black and white at the bottom of the vase. Between the yeouidu pattern on the top and lotus petals at the bottom, the cloud and crane patterns are carved. There are two types of the cloud and crane pattern: those inside circles and others outside the circles. The expression of the pattern is done in a sophisticated and artistic style. The circles have double lines; the inner one is inlaid in black while the outer one is inlaid white. The circles are inlaid to make six rows, to alternate with others in the layer above and below. Cranes and clouds ascending to the sky are inlaid inside the circles, while cranes and clouds descending to the ground are inlaid outside the circles.

As such, the direction of cranes' movement crisscrosses in an X-shaped trajectory. In such a way, the spatial limitation that might have given a sense of tightness is widened and the surface even gains a sense of depth. The sophisticatedly calculated composition and distribution of patterns give a hint about the Goryeo people's brilliance expressed in craft.

"Inlaying" is a common name for the ceramic decorative technique of cutting grooves and then filling them with another material. Inlaid celadon mostly produced during the Goryeo period is the most famous example of Korea's ceramic products. In inlaid celadon, diverse patterns or the background of patterns are carved off at a consistent depth and clay in a different color is used to fill in the carved areas. Then, the entire surface is trimmed and smoothened to an even depth, to reveal the pattern put in diverse colors. After this process, the celadon is glazed and fired and ultimately, the pattern is displayed in white or black colors against the bluish-green background.

The inlaying technique was widely applied not only to ceramics but also to diverse fields of craft. For example, some metalware was decorated by cutting grooves or boundaries into the surface and then filling the grooves with diverse gemstones or other types of metal. The inlaying technique was also actively applied to woodcrafts, in a way of carving the background wood and then embedding wood of a different color, turtle shell, clamshell, or metal in it.

As for the origin of Goryeo celadon's inlaying technique, different opinions have been suggested. Some believe that the inlaying decorative technique was unique to Goryeo and it had been affected by the silver inlaying technique or the technique of lacquerware inlaid with mother-of-pearl.
Process of Inlaid Celadon Production
6. Tea Drinking and Celadon
There are several reasons for the development of celadon over the Goryeo period, one of which is the popularity of a certain beverage that required the use of celadon. Notably, tea was serviced for ceremonies of the royal palace and Buddhist temples and for treating guests, according to records left in history and collections of private writers. Even though there are few records that directly mention celadon tea instruments, it can be reasonably presumed that celadon was used for important utensils for tea service, as tea was an important part of royal ceremonies including banquets and ancestral rituals and was given as royal gifts or wedding presents. In addition, tea was drunk at Buddhist temples and Taoist temples; the literati and even ordinary people loved it.

Goryeosa recorded that tea was used as royal gifts and ceremonial goods along with herbal medicine and incense, so it is thought that tea instruments were made in a wide variety of types and materials. Goryeo had a "tea department" as an organization of the royal palace to help court tea ceremonies, as well as king's royal tour and attendance at Buddhist ceremonies. The organization played the role of preparing burners and teas for the tea ceremony for king's formal excursions. For most of the ceremonies and procedures hosted by Goryeo's royal palace, customs for tea service were strictly set and the tea department was the supervisor of the rules and formalities.

Records about the tea ceremony of Goryeo's royal palace can be found in many writings. There exists an article that warned the students of Seonggyungwan National Academy near the end of the Goryeo period for not studying hard and not attending regular rituals and tea ceremonies. It suggests that tea ceremonies were hosted at Seonggyungwan National Academy until the end of Goryeo. In addition, there was a procedure of serving tea to the king and vassals right before making the final decision about a felon's punishment.

Tea ceremonies were also hosted when envoys of the Khitans and Jurchens came to Korea to visit the king. When the list of gifts brought by envoys was given to the king, the king spoke a message of greeting. After completion of the procedure of delivering the gifts, the king treated the envoys to tea, wine, and food. Notably, when serving tea for envoys, the first cup was directly given by the king. Envoys also offered tea to the king, took two deep bows to the king, and then sat down to drink the tea. Then, the king and envoys stood up to take a bow to each other again with their hands put together and then went back to their own seats. The same procedures were performed at banquets hosted by the crown prince for vassals.

At the ceremony hosted on every New Year's Day, the royal tea department held a tea ceremony in which music, tea, and drinks were serviced in order. Tea ceremonies were also held for congratulatory ceremonies at the birth of the king's first son or for banquets for all vassals held at the Daegwanjeon Hall at the royal palace. Vassals were seated at different positions according to their public posts, and the tea department served tea at banquets where tea, drinks, and incense were serviced in sequence along with music performances. Tea ceremonies with tea, drinks, music, and dance were also hosted for the investiture ceremonies for princes and princesses, as well as for Palgwanhoe (Festival of the Eight Vows: a national memorial service for Heaven, holy mountains, the spirits of noted mountains and large rivers, and the dragon god of the ocean) and Yeondeunghoe (Lotus Lantern Festival: a national ceremony that honors the Buddha's virtue), hosted by the royal palace. As such, tea was always included in the list of gifts offered to soldiers, subjects, diplomatic representatives, and Buddhist priests. Gaolitujing contains an account about a banquet hosted by king for envoys returning from China, where cups, bowls, and pots brought by them from China were used.

Tea was drunk for certain rituals and daily routines at Buddhist temples. Tea was the most important item among the six offerings to Buddha made at Buddhist temples, along with incense, lanterns, fruits, and flowers. Participants of diverse Buddhist ceremonies including a tea ritual hosted by the head priest of a Buddhist temple or a tea ceremony held at a Buddhist monastery drank tea in accordance with the nature of the ritual and their social positions, which also required a wide diversity of tea instruments. This can be guessed from the celadon artifacts unearthed from the sites of Buddhist temples from the Goryeo period.

Among celadon, major items related with tea drinking included cups, bowls, glasses, ewers, spittoons, tube-shaped cups, boxes with covers, mortars, and double-headed drums. Of course, ewers and glasses are believed to have been related with drinking liquor, but bowls are thought to have been used as the container for tea when considering some examples of China. Many other celadon items such as ewers to pour water for tea and mortars for grinding tea leaves are thought to have been related with tea drinking or tea making.

7. Circulation of Celadon and Sea Routes
Over the last several years, tens of thousands of ceramics manufactured in the Goryeo period have been discovered and brought to the surface off the southwestern coast of the Korean Peninsula, providing new information about the history of Korean ceramics. Metal artifacts and wooden tablets discovered along with them also offer much information not only about the type and forms of ceramics from that time but also about people's lives on the ship and circulation of ceramics.

According to the Cultural Heritage Administration of Korea, the largest proportion (50 percent) of relics reported to be buried under the sea are from Goryeo, including many pieces of celadon. This indicates that the shipping of ceramics through near-coast routes was more active in Goryeo than in any other era. During the Goryeo period, taxes were levied in kind from across the kingdom; minerals, animals, seafood, agricultural products, and handicrafts were collected from their places of best origin. Ceramics including celadon were manufactured in places where quality clay was produced and then transported to cities including Gaegyeong. This may have been possible because of the geographical environment of Goryeo, where shipping through waterways toward the capital of Gaegyeong and the second capital Namgyeong, with their large demand for handicrafts, was easy. Therefore, the circulation and logistics through sea routes seems to have played an important role in the process of the production and use of ceramics in the Goryeo era. It can also be estimated that the establishment of kilns and the shipment of ceramic products were implemented in consideration of convenient and effective circulation.

In short, it is estimated that ceramic production sites increased as ceramic goods began to be levied as a tax from across the kingdom due to insufficient supply of them from kilns near Gaegyeong. Then, by the end of the 10th century and the beginning of the 11th century, when the nationwide governing system and tax system were completed, kilns would have begun to be actively operated in the southwestern coastal area near sea routes. That seems to be deeply connected with the fact that most of large-scale Goryeo kiln sites are located in areas near sea routes, including Haenam, Goheung, Gangjin, Yeonggwang, Buan, and Boryeong.

Infokorea 2018
Infokorea is Korea introduced a magazine designed for readers with an interest in Korea and other foreign producers textbooks and teachers. Infokorea is the author of textbooks or foreign editors and reference to textbooks, Korea provides the latest information that teachers can use in teaching resources. Infokorea also provides cultural, social and historical topics featured in Korea. The theme of the 2018 issue was History of Korean Ceramics.

Publication | The Academy of Korean Studies

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