Morning Earth Korea
About Us
About Us

s a third generation Korean American, I grew up with little knowledge of Korea or its rich culture.  When I became interested in ceramics, now more than 50 years ago, I learned that Korea has a very exciting, profound and influential ceramic history.  It was then that I began to research Korean ceramics more deeply.  A sabbatical in Korea, plus studying under two Japanese masters who were greatly influenced by Korean ceramics and many trips to Korea and Japan since, with Mary, my wife, strengthened that research.

    Thirty years ago I went to Icheon to work in a potter's studio.  Icheon is one of Korea’s great pottery villages.  There I began to unravel the mystery of Korean ceramics and lay the groundwork for my interest, knowledge and understanding of the broader and deeper aspects of many areas of Korea’s arts and culture.

    Mary, my wife, was an art teacher and I taught at a university.  When we used the Korean forming processes in our classes we discovered remarkable improvement over the work our students and other students were producing using the forming processes they had learned from others.  In 1996 we received a grant to teach these Korean ceramic processes to teachers.  Those teachers made the same discovery.  The Korean forming processes, both hand building and throwing were easier to learn and helped the student achieve a higher lever of work more quickly.

    As we continued to give workshops, interest in traveling to Korea grew. Our workshop participants asked us to take them to Korea.  Our first tour was in 1997.  Since that time Mary and I have been to Korea more than 20 times in twelve years. Our Korean Ceramic Workshops are still available and now provide some information I wish I had known when I was teaching.  We hope to be able to do more workshops and develop a ceramic teaching web site.  However, our ceramic production receives first priority which is why some of our web sites are still in development.

    Our interest in tours has evolved.  We realized that no matter what we said or wrote about Korea, its arts and culture, nothing would be as effective or as lasting as actually being there.  But just being in Korea and seeing the sights would not be enough.  You have to meet the people.

    After living and working in Korea and during the many years of research travel there we have met and become friends with many artists.  Most of them were ceramic artists.  However, they in turn introduced us to their friends many who are artists in other fields.  Since our research took us to some of the best artists in Korea including many Human Cultural Treasures and other highly respected artists in many fields they are the ones whom we now call friends.  It is this network of people scattered throughout Korea that we began to visit.  They are among the most respected artists in Korea and specialize in many areas of the arts.  Now, through our contacts and the knowledge we have gained, we have gained access to literally hundreds of Korea’s best artists from many fields.  Those contacts allow us to have what we believe to be unparalleled access to Korea’s arts and culture.   Join a Morning Earth Tour for a remarkable adventure in Korea.  Visit our informational web sites often to see how they are developing.  If you are a teacher and are searching for information on an aspect of Korean arts, contact us.  We also suggest that you download the book The Arts of Korea by Chung Yang-mo former director of the National Museums of Korea and a friend and Elizabeth Hammer of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.  We presented two Korean ceramic workshops at the MMOA for Elizabeth Hammer.  It is through Professor Chung's help that we have been able to do many things to promote Korean arts and culture.  A link to download that book for free is found below  It may also be available through Yale University Press in a wonderful hard cover edition.

    We realize that touring is not always possible for everyone.  That is why we are developing a series of informational web sites and providing workshops.  Web sites such as Gangjin Celadon, Korean Onggi  and even Tea Tour Korea are a beginning attempt to provide information on various aspects of Korean arts and culture.  We also research and provide links to other web sites that we believe offer significant insight into various aspects of Korean arts and culture.
    If you would like to help us continue our work, your donations are greatly appreciated.  Your donation will allow us to spend more time researching and developing information for our web sites and help to pay the significant web expenses.  All donations are greatly appreciated.  Those who choose to donate to us on an ongoing basis can earn credit toward large discounts on our tours.  As we develop, we hope to be able to offer other incentives for donations.  Our goal is to provide culturally rich exceptional tours and information on Korea.  We are doing this to help you understand Korean arts and culture better and to help Korea regain its place in the world as the culturally rich country it is.
    Incidentally, we also provide tours to other Asian countries and can design a special tour for your business, private group, or school.  We look forward to hearing from you.

The Arts of Korea
by Elizabeth Hammer
and Chung Yang-mo
ed. Judith E. Smith

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