I found a little treasure.
The day that I went to the Seoul Folk Flea Market was filled with excitement. I had already considered my outing a success, just based on the market. However, the day took a surprising turn that made me even happier than the flea market finds!
We had taken a bathroom break near the clothing side of the flea market. There is a large doorway that leads into a back alley. As I waited for my friend and her children, I noticed a small building that said “traditional crafts.” That was enough to intrigue me, so I wandered over. The building was tiny, some pre-fabricated contraption that was about as wide as a shipping container. Through the windows I could see a few tables and Korean masks and paper lanterns lining shelves. I read the sign on the front door and couldn’t believe it. “Come in anytime for free Experience traditional culture.” Hmmm. Though grammatically incorrect, this had potential. Free? Crafts? It sounded too good to be true. I scour the internet looking for things to do in Korea, and here was what promised to be a fabulous time just sitting in an alley at the flea market.
We went inside to see if there was any more information available, and before I knew it we were filling out a slip of paper with basic information such as how many were in our group and how many times we have been there. My friend’s sons choose to make masks, while my craft companion and I made paper lanterns.
It all happened very quickly. We were given plain white lanterns, plopped down by some glue and tissue paper and left to our own creativity. I was crazy excited. I love crafts; I love traditional experiences; I love free. It was all the more exciting because we had no idea what we were walking into. Shopping for antiques and then five minutes later I have a lantern yearning to be designed.
The masks are white and the crafter is given a tray of colored craft … stuff. I don’t know what to call it. It’s made of tiny styrofoam-like beads and held together by sticky goo. You can form it into any number of objects or flatten it out to design a mask.
The lanterns came with a box of tissue paper and cans of thin, clear glue. The glue reminded me of modge podge. I would coat the lantern in glue, place a bit of tissue paper, and then spread more glue on top. The lantern and I were a sticky mess by the time it was over. I found the smaller bits of paper were easier to mold around curves. They had several samples available for inspiration. There was a pretty navy lantern with a lotus bloom that caught my eye. I started with a much more colorful flower and then realized it would be better to do the background first and add the flower on top. Too late.
As you can see, ‘ol crazy eyes here really enjoyed her traditional crafting experience. I’m already trying decide on my next creation- a Christmas ornament or a paper tray?