[Lamp from the hanji section of the Craft Trend Fair at COEX in Seoul last week.] After one final interview for a TV documentary, I finally got to sit down and have dinner tonight with my hanji teacher, Mr. Jang of Jang Ji Bang. His wife joined us after she closed the shop (and of course I had gone earlier to pick out lovely hanji, my last paper purchase of this trip). I was so touched when they gave me pine nuts that his mother had cracked open one by one by hand, a big bag, that she insisted on giving to me.
[One of Mr. Yoo's decorative screens in Jeonju.] We talked about all kinds of things but mostly my biggest difficulties on this trip. He has changed a lot since I studied with him, whether from age or experience or making so much more paper, and I was so grateful that he imparted so much wisdom and advice at a time when I really needed it. Lots of technical advice, too. I've now gotten three versions (all roughly the same) of what I need to do for a hanji screen to keep it flat.
[Hanji at the industry support center in Jeonju.] Most of the advice was about letting things go and not letting baggage pile up, to stay empty and to stay away from worry. He also said some meaningful things about my future, his initial expectations of me and how they changed, and the ability I have to keep doing the work I am doing. And of course his female employees (who must be in their 80s by now) all asked if I was married yet. Ha!
[Bamboo nodes cut out at Mr. Yoo's studio in Jeonju.] Mostly the advice was to talk less, stretch more, and keep doing my own thing. He said that the one thing that humans cannot solve or resolve is time: you can't stop it. Tomorrow, I add to today's 1.5-hour postal expedition (packing and shipping five big boxes and thirteen book orders) and ship more hanji back home.