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Monday, May 5, 2008

Traditional Korean teal bowls will be held in Mungyeong

A 10-day festival with traditional Korean teal bowls will be held in Mungyeong, the province of North Gyeongsang, May 3-12.

Although Icheon in Gyeonggi province is more popular for ceramics and pottery, Mungyeong has long been regarded as central to traditional ceramics.

Boasting a 500-year history of pottery and manufacture of tea bowls in particular, the region is home to 23 traditional ovens.

The annual festival, which grew as a representative of festivals in the province of North Gyeongsang, is in its 10th year.

For this year, ceramic artists from 18 countries will take part in the festival, organizers.

`` Mungyeong is known center for traditional ceramics do. There are seven ceramic masters of the nation and three are in Mungyeong,''said Shing Hyun-kook, the mayor of the city.

`` I do not know how they do elsewhere, but we do traditionally,''said Kim Jung-ok, head of the organising committee for the festival with great pride. He was speaking at a conference held in downtown Seoul Wednesday.

Kim is a designated an important intangible cultural heritage and Chief Youngnam Four, whose family has been making ceramics for the past seven generations. Kim is one of three craftsmen mentioned the mayor. The two other artisans Mare Lee Hak-cheon and Cheon Han-bong.

Mungyeong is known for using a mixture of sand and soil and burning of pine trees to fuel the kilns. Most of the nation use gasoline-fed fire. The advantage of pine-tree-powered furnaces lies in the various colors they can produce, "said Kim.

During the 10 day festival to be held in Mungyeong ceramics exhibition hall and its environs, visitors have the chance to experience ceramics.

There will also be an auction to sell ceramics and pottery kilns Mungyeong representative of all the days to 3 hours during the festival. Visitors can also have a chance to buy powdered tea.

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