Misun Won has been making things for as long as she can remember.

Particularly enjoying the feel of materials in her hands and the way people communicate through jewellery, it was natural for her to choose to study precious metal design at Hanyan University in South Korea.

‘During my time at the university, I discovered that jewellery has played a significant role in Korean culture in terms of conveying the subtlety in the beauty of Korean women.’

Misun Won jewelleryMisun Won jewelleryMisun Won jewellery

Misun spent much of her time at university investigating traditional Korean craft, including patchwork, which has greatly influenced her work.

‘I associate the idea of patchwork wrapping with my jewellery, as this is the essential function of ancient Korean patchwork.

The patchworked cloths were developed as a means of wrapping an object or food in a careful and respectful way. The ancient Korean people believed that keeping something wrapped would bring good fortune.

I try to imbue the symbolic meanings of Korean patchwork with my jewellery. In this way, my jewellery is not only a body ornament, but also as a lucky charm for wearers.’

After working with a well-known Korean artist, Misun was inspired to move abroad to broaden her creative perspective. She chose to undertake her Masters at the Edinburgh College of Art after seeing work by *Professor Dorothy Hogg MBE, the then course leader of silversmithing and jewellery, online.

‘I was immediately captivated by her jewellery. I particularly liked the way she interpreted the human organs and their relationship with body.’

After nearly a decade in Scotland, Misun has achieved exactly what she set out to do.

‘My experience of living in both Britain and Korea has given me the broader cultural outlook I sought when moving away from home.

It has enabled me to position myself in what I call the “neutral zone” and to examine both cultures with fresh eyes.

The influences of both countries can be seen in my work, and my artistic interpretation of the materials, colours, forms, and texture is significantly influenced by my surroundings in Scotland.’

Professionally, Misun thinks of herself as a jewellery artist based in Scotland, but we agree with her when she floats the idea that it could be argued that she is a Scottish maker.

Misun’s delicate and refined jewellery has been presented nationally and internationally, and she was part of the Craft Scotland delegation to the American Craft Council (ACC) Show in Baltimore earlier this year.

‘The cutting edge contemporary design aesthetic on the Scotland stand, along with the quality of the craftsmanship, really made our work stand out and attract attention’ at the ACC Show.

Misun Won for Craft Scotland

Photo by Maximilian Franz.

‘Taking part in such great shows with other Scottish makers have been the proudest moments of my career’ said Misun.

In the lead up to Elements 3, Misun is developing a new body of work in gold, and is eager to explore what she can convey through new colours and patterns.

When it comes to techniques, Misun is a traditionalist, preferring techniques that allow her to have direct contact with the materials, such as sawing, scraping, burnishing, and soldering.

‘I often get asked if I want to design the patterns and structure with digital technology and make my work using laser cutters and other machines.

I presume it would be much faster, but I enjoy touching all the materials I use. It is like a conversation with the material for me.’

You can look forward to seeing Misun’s new range (and having a conversation with her) at Elements 3 from 2-5 November.

 

You can also find out more about Misun’s work on her website, and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

*Professor Dorothy Hogg MBE is one of the co-curators of the Elements 3 exhibition, 50 Secrets of Magic Craftsmanship. Read more.