Joining some Korean culture experience programs is a must when staying in Korea. Not to mention that it is fun, it is also a great opportunity where we can learn about Korean culture and experience authentic Korean life as well. Today I will be sharing with you guys my experience of taking a Korean traditional seal carving class at the National Museum of Korea.
What is a Korean Traditional Seal?
The Korean seal, which is also known as “injang” (인장) refers to a stamp with letters or patterns. “Injang” has been used by people since 4000 B.C. It helps to identify a person’s identity and social class. It is also a symbol of possession. In the past, some people believe tha injang made of lightning-struck jujube trees can protect them from bad things. Hence, they carry injang with them all the time as an amulet.
Process of the Class
The Korean traditional seal carving class is started with an introduction to Korean traditional seals by the instructor. We are taught about some brief history and significance of Korean seal.
All tools are well-prepared on the tables. What we have to do was just following the instructions given by the expert.
First, we place the seal in the Insang (the seal fixture).
Then, we practiced writing our name our drawing preference design on a paper. After deciding on the final design, we drew it on rice paper. I did mine with my own name in Hangeul. Reading from top to bottom, from right to left, “걱크잉인”, which means “Kok Ke Ying seal ”.
After drawing the inverted pattern on the stone, it is time for the carving work!
I thought it would be very hard to carve on a stone. However, to my surprise, it was actually much easier than expected. Also, the experts were friendly and always ready to assist us with the carving process.
Carving in progress…
This is how my seal looks like after finishing all the carving jobs.
Taa-daa evrything is done! Look at my seal, doesn’t it look nice!
The whole process was easy to understand and took around an hour.
I enjoyed the class very much. By the end of the class, I learned about the Korean traditional seal engraving techniques and made my very own seal. I would definitely hope to join more cultural classes like this in the future.
Last but not least, I would also like to recommend the Korean traditional seal carving class to those who are going to visit Korea and are highly interested in Korean culture. I think that the handmade Korean seal will be a useful and memorable souvenir for you!