BY Joan MacDonald | Jun 25, 2013 01:12 PM EDT
While the historical drama “Goddess of Fire” features many popular actors, the real star of the show may be Korean pottery itself. That’s why some of the saeguk’s actors have been studying the craft.
“Goddess of Fire” is the first drama to focus on the skills involved in making pottery and to explain how Korea’s pottery skills were instrumental in creating Japan’s famous porcelain. For inspiration, the drama used the life of Baek Pa Sun, the first female ceramic artist in Joseon times. The artist’s glazing skills were so prized that she was appointed as a china maker for the royal family. But her fame also made her a prize for invaders. Captured during the Japanese invasion in 1592, she was forced to share her innovative ceramic techniques with Japanese potters.
Moon Geun Young who will play Yoo Jun, the character modeled on Baek Pa Sun, and Park Geon Hyung, who will play fellow potter Lee Yook Do, are taking pottery lessons from Han Il Sang, a famed potter whose work will be used in the show. The actors have studied both the theory and practice of making pots. They now know how to spin a potter’s wheel and have even crafted a few pieces on their own.
Han Il Sang is also the director of the Dopyeongyo exhibition hall, which is filled with precious pieces of pottery. He hopes the drama will remind everyone about the history of pottery and how that history is an important part of Korea’s legacy.
Besides being a drama about pottery it’s also a drama about a woman living her dream in a time and place where women had few options.
“Jung Yi dreams of becoming Joseon’s ceramic artist,” said Moon Geun Young. “She has a natural talent for pottery. The drama shows how she grows and, through hard work and talent, gets to live the life of a great potter.”
It’s the second historical drama for Moon Geun Young, who previously portrayed a cross-dressing painter in “Painter of the Wind.” The actress, who played the social climbing designer in “Cheomdamdong Alice,” will not just be spinning pots in this drama. There will also be plenty of romance, she warns.
“Please also pay close attention to the romance between the characters in the drama,” she said.
Will that romance be with Lee Sang Yoon, who plays Crown Prince Gwanghae or will it be with Kim Bum as Kim Tae Do, her loyal protector? Either way, there will be a chance to look at some beautiful pottery.
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