PORCELAIN FIRING PROCESS
Distinct from other types of ceramic, these Porcelain characteristics (strength, translucency, and purity of whiteness) are achieved through a process of known as vitrification, or the transformation of a substance into glass. During this process, an object is heated up until it liquidizes, forming a rare silicate mineral called mullite. The object is then rapidly cooled, becoming a vitrified solid. This moment of liquidization makes the form particularly vulnerable to collapse. In fact, many works do not survive in the kiln and either fall apart or melt completely.
Perfecting one’s firing process is just as important as the materials employed; even such, there are factors completely outside of the artist’s control. Once a work enters the kiln, much of its destiny is in the hands of fate. Once fired, if successful, the clay’s chemical composition is forever altered; so long as the work remains unbroken, these porcelain wares will remain intact until the end of time.
Young Sook Park’s unique clays, mined from the region of Kyunggido, must mature from 6 to 10 years. This process of maturation involves allowing the clay’s consistency to gestate for long periods of time so that it’s consistency is then ready to be fired.
Ms. Park has developed her own clay recipe, a closely guarded artist secret. Her special clay retains exceptional levels of viscosity, making it resilient to intense firing at 1350c or 2460f.
The specialness of her clays, aided by this lengthy maturation process, facilitate Park’s ability to produce a wide variety of traditional shapes and forms, and to work in this capacity at a scale larger than any other known ceramic artist.
Park is known for her extraordinary craftsmanship in both Buncheong and White Porcelain clay technique.
GLAZE: PORCELAIN, COBALT, IRON + COPPER
Ceramic glazes are applied to the surface of pottery before it’s second firing. During the glaze firing, these lacquers fuse together with the ceramic, making the work impervious. Glazes are often employed for decorative purposes, though they also function to give the ceramic a tougher surface that is resilient to the elements.
oung Sook Park creates unique glazes by using naturally occurring elements; iron, copper and cobalt. Her porcelain glazes are made of, among other things, tiny liquid particles of porcelain clay. Blue pigment is created by applying the mineral cobalt(II) aluminate, whereas Iron and Copper generate brown and reddish tones.
Often, contemporary potters will use chemical or artificial elements in their glazes to create ultra-vibrant, albeit unnatural colors. However, Young Sook Park only uses natural elements much like what would have been accessible during the Joseon Dynasty. The result is a pristine contemporary interpretation of these outstanding traditional ceramic techniques.
PARK YOUNG SOOK CERAMIC KILN
Park Young Sook Ceramic Kiln was founded in 1979, and is a state of the art facility sitting on over 2 acres of land just outside of Seoul Korea.