As you may have noticed from my last review, I am very much into anything hands on and creative. So when the Engrave Korean Words and Designs on Wood using Wood Burning / Pyrography Techniques class was offered by Trazy, I was the first to jump at the chance. I mean, the chance to not only be creative, but to be creative with FIRE? That’s the kind of opportunity that you don’t get very often.
Of course, I had seen wood burning art before, but I had no idea that it was considered a traditional Korean art form. To be able to learn from the experienced artists that Trazy has connected with was a definite plus.
I arrived at the Seoul Upcycling Plaza by taxi a bit early. It was surprised by how big and modern the complex was since it was kind of hidden. Luka and I ventured inside to explore to kill some time and satiate our curiosity. The center is full of really cool art made of recycled materials. There are shops where you can buy books, clothes and artwork made of upcycled items. Additionally there’s tons of small workshops where you can learn to make these items yourself.
The cafe on the third floor has a wonderful latte called “Lovers Latte.” However, make sure to bring a reusable tumbler. The pyrography instructor told us about a cafeteria on the 5th floor that is definitely worth it to check out after the class as well. The food was AMAZING. Seriously, eat there.
After wandering around a bit, Luka and I made our way to Merry Wood to meet our lovely instructors. The shop is filled with different bits of wood and lots of cute items made by the carpenters there. It has a heavy cut wood smell that reminded me of childhood trips to my grandfather’s carpentry shop. I instantly felt right at home.
The shop is a collective, run by six female carpenters and artists. To begin, there’s a Powerpoint to introduce you to who they are, what they do, what you will make and safety rules.
Now, I have to admit, I am a teensy bit scared of fire and being burned. It’s not an open flame but please make sure to wear your hair back out of your way and don’t wear super loose clothing either. It’s better to be safe than to be sorry!
Korean Wood Burning
The tool we used for wood burning definitely intimidated me at first. However, the instructors are right there by your side and they give you a scrap piece of wood to play around with to get the hang of things. They also give you heat resistant gloves to use. Although, don’t get near the tip of the pen even with those. There were three of us using this machine for our art, so the temperature fluctuate a little bit. All in all it turned out pretty well.
We started off with key chains, which you can freehand whatever you want. I drew my signature bunny character and wrote my online nickname in Hangul. Then, after that, the instructors passed out folders with various Korean phrases on them that you can choose from for your back scratcher.
My Korean handwriting looks like a kindergarten student’s, so I went with a phrase from the list, but feel free to freestyle if you’d like. I chose two phrases, one for each side. The phrase I used on the inside means “ I want to walk with you“ and the one I chose for the outside means “May your life shine like a star“. I also drew the Cassiopeia constellation on the outside because I’m cheesy like that.
The Hangul part was tricky. I wanted it to be perfect, but sometimes I couldn’t tell if I had actually filled in the entire part of the letter. Sometimes the pen snagged on random spots in the wood grain. In the end they turned out looking pretty good. Since I finished so early, the instructor kindly gave me an extra piece of wood to play with. I decided to make a cute Ryan from Kakao Friends. And I still finished before everyone else somehow. So, if your friends are slowpokes, no worries.
All in all, this was a really fun experience and I would love to go back and make a ton of personalized gifts for friends. I was worried at first since you can’t fix mistakes if they’re burnt into the wood, but by the end I was having so much fun that I stopped worrying.
Thank you again to Trazy for not only hosting such a cool event, but letting me be a part of it. If you’re ever in Seoul and you need presents for friend’s back home, but the stuff in the shops is too boring, please check out this event from Trazy and make some fun personalized gifts. Think you’ll check out the Engrave Wood with Korean Words Using Wood Burning class?
Check out our other Trazy adventures below!
This experience was sponsored by Trazy, but all opinions are our own.