Stamping some gold on fabric can’t be that tough right? Turns out there’s a lot more to gold leafing than I realized. I got a glimpse into this ancient craft on a visit to Kum Bak Yeon, a studio tucked away on a side street of Bukchon Hanok Village in the old part of Seoul. This cozy, traditional studio has been producing gilded textiles since the mid 1800’s.
This unique Korean craft has been practiced for centuries, preserved by masters who pass their knowledge to new generations of apprentices. Me and a small group of friends took a workshop from one such an experienced artisan, Mr. Kim. Participants can choose among silk fabric, bookmarks, or pouches to imprint. The class definitely not enough time to master this ancient technique, but it did give me a deeper appreciation for the craft.