Tuesday, March 31, 2020

My jiseung how to, first in a series

Ever since I started teaching jiseung (the Korean way of twining twists of paper into all sorts of useful items), I grappled with how I to do it. Instruction had to be in person but some students did not have enough time to grasp it. Part of that is because you can't learn this in a day, or two, or even a week. But that's how workshops are structured, so we all do our best.
For the initial steps of tearing down large sheets of paper into paired strips, I needed a handout, otherwise some people would never get to the cord-making process. I tried a few times over several years to draw versions of how to do that, and even posted a series of photos to illustrate it. That was almost 10 years ago, and looking at it now I see how I could have done it better but it was my best effort at the time. To illustrate cord making, I usually share a spread from an excellent Hisako Sekijima book (I recommend the entire book!).
Once students got past making cords and had to start twining, then a whole new chaos would begin. For that I had a basic handout but it was only about general twining. I usually travel with a good how-to/overview book on jiseung to show pictures and diagrams, but it's only in Korean. Last year, I began drawings for a new series of booklet/zine/manual that would finally synthesize all the info. After about ten pages, it was so hard that I gave up and shelved it. This year, I finally dove back in and sometimes felt I had to bolt myself to the chair to finish.

To order the first of this series, which gives a quick overview of jiseung, how to make cords, how to twine a circular basket, and how to finish it, let me know! You can see more about my publications here. Prices reflect shipping, handling, and fees taken by intermediaries. To choose a no-fee option (check, Zelle, Venmo, friends and family PayPal), contact me directly so I can provide a discount. Though this is best used as an accompaniment to direct instruction, we all know that's no longer an option. Book 2 preview: flat twining and a fold-over rim finish. But that may well take another year!

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