Tuesday, April 7, 2009

A Shelf Full of Rustic Beauties: Tang Gwans (Tetsubins) by Kim Jeong Hoon

This shelf of tang gwans in a local Daegu shop sure catch ones wandery eyes. Each holds excessive rugged character beyond its years. Each contains such individuality that its hard to even group them together. The details allow one to stare at each for a long time, admiring the rusty spots on their handles, the rugged edges along their sides, the textured earthy clay of their body, the minute detail of their unique knobs, and their overall thought provoking shape. They're all so beautiful and yet so different.



One wonders how they would cuddle the boiling water, what would be the sound of their trembling lids as water vapor struggles to escape? How wonderful would it be to pour steaming water from their spouts?

What little detail do you like on these tang gwans? Which one would you take home?



speakfreely said...

They ARE beautiful. Which one depends on how I would be using them. If I had a Korean-style tea house, it would definitely be #2, and it's #2 purely aesthetically; I love the uneven bottom edge, but there's something ungainly about the handle attachment of #1. But with #2, you need to dip the water out with a dipper, and you've got to have a proper brazier. If you're going to use it as a stovetop kettle, a spout would be more practical, and for that, I love #5 for its simplicity. Really, they're all gorgeous.

Matt said...


One also likes #2 and feels that it would probably be the most appropriate for a Korean brazier. Although #3 is quite interesting, it kinda looks like a volcano’s exploded summit, one can’t picture it on top of a brazier. Not even Kim Jeong Hoon’s own brazier ( http://mattchasblog.blogspot.com/2008/10/two-electric-braziers-by-kim-jeong-hoon.html )would do it justice.

One also likes #5 for its simplicity and naturalness.

Thanks for your thoughts.


geneviève meylan said...

I like nmber 6 ! I am glad to see that ceramic works are back in your posts ! I love these pieces !

Matt said...


Nice to hear from you.

Yes, there will be many more posts to come on ceramics. Some will feature traditional Korean tea drinking bowl styles and others will just focus on individual pieces.