WOODTURNING
'갈이질'(Gal-e-jil)

 
Gal-e-jil also called moksunban is a wood turning technique that involves the carving of rotating timber. It was used to make everyday objects such as water jars, pots, and canisters. In the very beginning, the craft was practiced with two people – one person would manually rotate a tool, where the wood is being held, and the other would carve the timber simultaneously. Later on, by developing a pedal for rotation, one craftsman could rotate the wood by pedalling the tool, thereby being able to carve wood more freely. 

The craft form dates back to the 1st century AD and has been continuing for about 2000 years. It was a widely popular and useful technique that was loved by the Korean people. By being able to control the rotation’s speed, craftsmen were able to achieve finer silhouettes and forms of objects. However, with western machinery being introduced to Korea to carve wood, it has become a dying craft, only practiced and continued by a few artisans in a city like Namwon, a place known for traditional woodwork.
1. Raw harvested timber is cut into long pieces.
2. Different types of timber are cut into desired sizes.
3. Some timber go through a drying process.
4. The raw timber is set up in a woodturning machine.
1. Raw harvested timber is cut into long pieces.
2. Different types of timber are cut into desired sizes.
3. Some timber go through a drying process.
4. The raw timber is set up in a woodturning machine.
5. Different tools are used to achieve various shapes of the wood.
6. Using a tool called a ‘roughing gouge’ the woodturning process begins.
7. Traditional jok-dab-ki (woodturning) machine.
8. The meticulously carved object using this technique.
5. Different tools are used to achieve various shapes of the wood.
6. Using a tool called a ‘roughing gouge’ the woodturning process begins.
7. Traditional jok-dab-ki (woodturning) machine.
8. The meticulously carved object using this technique.

© Images provided by
– Jungjoo Im
– Cultural Heritage Administration


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