Young Sook Park’s unique clays, mined from many different regions of Korea, take 6 to 10 years to mature. This process of maturation involves allowing the clay to gestate for long periods of time until its consistency is then ready to be fired. Ms. Park’s clay recipe is a secret closely guarded by the artist herself. Her unique clay retains exceptional levels of viscosity, making it resilient to intense firing.
Ceramic glazes are applied to the surface of pottery before its second firing, during which the lacquers fuse together with the ceramic to make the work impervious. Though glazes are often employed for decorative purposes, they also function to give the ceramic a tougher surface that is resilient to the elements. The inimitability of her clays, aided by this lengthy maturation process, is integral to Ms. Park’s ability to produce a wide variety of traditional shapes and forms in a capacity greater than that of any other known ceramic artist.
Young Sook Park creates unique glazes by using the naturally-occurring ele-ments of iron, copper, and cobalt. Blue pigment is created by applying the mineral cobalt (II) aluminate, whereas brown and reddish tones are generat-ed with iron and copper.
Though contemporary potters will often use chemical or artificial elements in their glazes, creating colors that skew unnatural in their vibrancy, Ms. Park only uses natural elements, much like what would have been available during the Joseon Dynasty. The result is a pristine contemporary interpretation of outstanding traditional ceramic techniques.