Charlotte Burrows – Grant report

Posted by: Cathy Kim  |  Posted on: February 18th, 2019

As a researcher at Cambridge University the generous grant given by the British Korean Society allowed me to travel to Korea to further my work on the traditional ‘pojagi’ Korean textile.

Whilst in Korea I was able to visit pojabi masters and observe their work and methods, spending much time at the Chojun Textile Centre in Seoul, in order to further my understanding of the craft and fabrication process, of the rescued textile used, and of the cultural significance and traditional Korean aesthetics. Invaluable conversations and connections were made, which would have not been possible without this fund.

Originally devised to conveniently wrap anything for transport and storage, this practical commodity where women piece together ‘acres of silk’ is imbued within the history of Korea and the sentiment of Korean people. From its original application this has evolved into a form of textile art that reveals various aspects of contemporary aesthetics and a spirit of the age that still remains relevant today.

A pojabi piece created as a result of research in Korea, influenced by work in English textile mills

These learnt techniques and principles were then shared with my work with textile production and vocational training courses in Northern England. This technique challenges the disposable textile paradigm by designing beautiful textiles from re-used  ones, benefiting the ‘slow’ and the ‘handmade’. A research pojabi piece was created, exhibited at Nicholls & Clarke Lofts, utilising the skills and knowledge acquired during my visit. Sewn from Pakistani silk, this architectural installation shows the layers of making, the seaming creating the strong linear elements used as design components suggesting the roll of the Pennines, the rectangular mill forms and chimneys.

I would like to take this opportunity to show my gratitude to the British Korean Society for their support with this work.

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