Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Sealed in Seoul!

Yet another reason to be a foreigner in Korea:

You get to do some really cool things for free! You just need to know where to look, register with all the details and show up on time.It really is that simple! Global centers in Seoul really take the cake in providing some awesome activities. I had signed up for the Seal Making activity held by the Seoul Global Culture and Tourism center along with my sons aged 16 and 10 as they are in vacation right now. It was a morning I would never forget. Nor would my sons!

Seal making with the good people from Seoul global center
The art of Seal making
Perfectly timed with the return of the Royal Seals of Korea by President Obama, the activity was conducted at the National Museum of Korea, which made the setting so perfect to dive into the realms of the art of engraving Seals. (한국을 새기다) The activity was conducted by a well renowned professor who went on to give us an introduction about the history of seals in Korea and around the world.
It was quite interesting to know that the seals and amulets in ancient Korea was made from the wood of the Jujube tree which was struck by lightening in the olden days. It was believed to provide protection for the holder. And the seals later on were made by different materials, with exquisite and sophisticated designs depending on the social class of the person making it so that it couldn't be imitated.
The royal seals
The top part of the Royal seals

The top part of the seal, called the Nyu (뉴) was decorated with elaborate designs for the royalty like the dragon (to denote the seal of the emperor), the tiger, turtle. The body or the Insin (인신) of the seal is the part which is used to hold the seal. To expel the possibility of an upside down impression, the date when the seal is made is engraved on the place where the thumb is held (Whew! that is a handy trick :)

Harry Potter's Seal, maybe?
D's Insi(g)n  

 The face of the seal or the InMyeon (인면) is where the name engraving is done. The Inmun (이문) is the letters or the patterns or design that is used to represent the person for whom the seal is being made. Apparently seals were made carrying the name of the person or a favorite phrase or a cherished design or even the zodiac symbol.

All professionally set for the engraving! 
Choosing what goes on the seal :)
My name in Korean, which i wanted to engrave. But later decided to add in a flower
Getting the design on the seal
Getting the design on to the seal ~ The easy part
Engraving the design on to the stone
Engraving the design on to the stone ~ The fun part
Carving more personality!
Adding more personality to the seal! ~ Dh style
The Seal tried and tested
Dh's seal all done and tested.
D was brave enough to try both the back ground carving and letter carving techniques!
Finishing touches by the Professor
Dh was all enthusiasm :)

Sealed on the Board of Fame!

lilies and lotuses at the museum
The huge pond in the museum was sporting lilles and lotuses

Lotuses at the museum
I could sit here all day, looking at the lotuses
lotus bud at museum

Koi pond

A serene spot in the heart of bustling Seoul
A serene spot in the heart of bustling Seoul


  1. Meoww !! Glad I stumbled here from my sunny lazy nap :D . The pics are great as well as the process of seal making and engraving... great place and a great post with beautiful pics... specially the board of fame and the solitary lotus bud amid the green !! Am joining and you can visit me at - Ciao ... :)

    1. Annyeong Haseyo! Good to have you here, Kokila!

  2. The lotus pond picture is amazing..Nice post :)

    1. Thank you! Had a good time making the seal!

  3. Now that must have been a very interesting experience. And I see you've picked up quite a bit of Korean too (is that what the language is called, btw? Pardon my ignorance, eh. ;) )

    Good going, Meoww. I'd been away for a bit. Missed a lot, I'm sure. :(

    1. Me too, DN, been off for quite a while. But good to be back.
      Yes, the language is generally called Korean :)

  4. Catching up on your posts after a long time! But love it. I wish I was in Korea doing the same things!!! Maybe when I do come to Seoul you can show me around :)

    Love the photos and the posts!!! Keep posting.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...