Monday, January 14, 2008

Dragonflies Everywhere!

Maedeup class this week started out very interesting. It has steadily been growing from week to week but I was shocked to find eight new beginners. This is in addition to already having about eleven of us. The room is not that large and we are squeezed into it so much that it is hard to find a place for Curt (hubby) when he comes over to wait for me after his Tae Kwon Do class.

As I've stated before, the maedeup knots have been getting steadily more difficult so it was a wonderful surprise to do the dragonfly maedeup which in Korean is called jamjari maedeup. It was a combination of several knots that we already knew. The next class we will be making a pin with the dragonflies that we had made.

We also learned this knot which is called byeongari maedeup. It is made using two knots that we have already learned. One of the knots, saengjjok maedeup, I know very well and the other, gukhwa maedeup, I am still trying to master and then to put them together... The right maedeup is a completed byeongari maedeup and the left is my homework to finish. We also added two garakji maedeups to it.

The reason our maedeup class is growing so fast is due mainly to the Korean government. In 1964, the government of Korea created the Important Intangible Cultural Properties. The list contains arts and crafts, music, dance and even tea. Maedeup is number 22 on the list. Recently, South Korea has become very worried that these ancient arts are dying and so to encourage Koreans to continue to learn this aspect of their culture, they are reimbursing your class fee. So everyone in my maedeup class is being reimbursed for the class when they have completed the session. But the class is more regimented than before. Class was from 12:00 pm - 5 pm and people would sometimes be 1 to 1 1/2 hours late and we would usually be done by 3 or 3:30. Now class is from 12-5 and each student has to sign in and out. It is a lot more regimented and we were even scolded my the teacher for talking too much (it was while we were working on our maedeup). Unfortunately, not being a Korean citizen, I'm not eligible for this program.

I thought it was such a great idea and I wish the U.S. did something like this. I feel that it would encourage a lot of people to take up crafting. I remember needle pointing and doing crewel when I was younger. I was also big into cross stitching when it was popular in the 80's. I think it's time for it to come back! It's pretty big over here. I love to sew, quilt, chainmaille, and of course, work with polymer clay. I'm still sad the see the lack of craft shows on television.

It has been a sad few weeks here in Korea. Last week, there was a warehouse fire that killed 40 people. Then Curt called today to say he wouldn't be home for dinner. One of his co-worker's father was killed in a car accident yesterday and he was leaving work to drive 2-3 hours to attend the funeral. The entire office went and he probably won't be back until midnight or later. I was hoping not to learn what a Korean funeral is like but I'll be finding out shortly.

On a happier note, a co-worker invited us to his baby's first birthday party. It is a really big deal so I'm so excited to be going. It's January 25th.


Ron said...

Becky, I love the dragonflies! I only wish there was a class I could take, but my plans don't involve a stay in Korea at this point! Maedeup looks so fascinating! Sadly, I can't even find a book on Maedeup - well, one on the history of knots, but not a how-to. Keep up the great work!!

Becky said...

Hi Ron! I just found out my new polymer clay book is out. Now about the maedeup book, don't tell anyone but I am actually working on that. I appreciate your comments!

Helena said...

Beautiful knots! Jamjari. I was trying to remember the word for dragonfly recently, but I was too lazy to go look it up. That's very cool that the government is encouraging people to learn those arts.

We did the Korean first birthday thing (Tol jabi) for my daughter, just for fun. She picked the food.

Ron said...

Becky, Great news about the polymer clay book, need to keep an eye out for that as my polymer clay work isn't that great so far :) and super news about the maedeup book -- I won't tell a soul!!


CreekHiker said...

Becky, I LOVE the dragonflies. The work is really looking intense!

TA Carbone said...

Oh your comment about the US bringing Arts & Crafts into the classes is a wonderful idea. Unfortuntaly we have a culture that rather buy mass produced items and I know where I live people look down on hand made things.


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