A few weekends ago, we traveled to Boseong to visit one of our interesting expat friends named Pete. Apart from living in a wonderfully small and beautiful city, Pete is a talented potter. He offered to show us around his pottery studio and let us try our hand at the potting wheels if we came for a visit, so we naturally jumped at the opportunity. Pete is quite talented and an undeniably interesting character, so we decided to do a quick interview about who he is and the hobby that occupies the majority of his free time.
Please tell us a bit about yourself!
My name is Pete Lucarotti and I’m a soon-to-be 32-year-old from Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada. I have lived in Boseong since 2010. I had quit my job earlier that year and was just kind of hanging out in Toronto. I had a couple of friends in Beolgyeo [Korea] at that time and they really liked it there, so I applied and was placed in the next town over. I love it here and I don’t think I’ve ever seriously considered a move to anywhere else in Korea since I arrived. It’s a peaceful and beautiful place to live.
When and why did you decide to start doing pottery?
Another foreigner in Boseong, Lisa Lehr, went out to the studio with her co-teacher and signed up for classes. I joined after she told me about it. I think it was two lessons that ran a couple of hours each a week. Eventually I decided to take it on as more than a hobby. That was almost three years ago now. Yeesh.
How difficult is it to communicate with the master?
Not very. His dad was (and possibly still is) a Shakespeare professor in Seoul and is fluent in English. I wouldn’t say Seong Il is fluent, but his English is quite good. Also, I’ve been out there and working with him for long enough that I generally understand what he’s saying even if it’s not perfect.
Some of Pete’s pottery
What is next for you in Korea?
I have to decide between staying at my school for another year or going back to school. I have a few months to make up my mind so we’ll see.
What is your dream for your future career with pottery?
I guess having my own studio. It would be amazing to have a job where I make stuff at home all day. I think that might make it seem like an easy job, but it’s a lot of hours and you can never get too comfortable. You always have to be making new things and figuring out what works and what doesn’t. I think there’s also a bit of an art to selling the stuff you make as well and that’s something I need to get more comfortable with.
Are there any classes offered for expats?
Well, people are certainly welcome to stop by and make a few things. The classes that I started with are no longer offered because my teacher and his wife have gotten busier with orders and their two daughters are getting older.
Pete also made us coffee! Nice shirt by the way…
We spent hours attempting to make different things, most of which we ruined by being clumsy beginners. In the end, Ryan made a pretty good bowl and I made a small vase! John and Mara also made some different bowls, one specifically for fermenting sauerkraut.
Since the master was away in Shanghai selling pottery, we didn’t get to fire or glaze our stuff. Pete said he would finish them up for us, however, and we will report back when we have the finished products! In the next couple of days, be sure to check back for the video of us playing around in the studio.
Boseong Pottery with Pete
You must set up an appointment with him in advance.
Email him at: email@example.com
Total Craft: Yeosu Pottery Classes
100,000 won / month (8 classes)
Hours: Wednesday/Friday: 11am – 8pm , Every other day: 11am – 6pm
It is not only pottery they do here but also many different crafts. I’m sure if you are looking to just do a one time class, you could arrange a special price with them!
Icheon Pottery Village
Possibly Korea’s most well known village for pottery. The potters here are known as “Living Cultural Treasures” and there is a yearly Ceramics Festival every year in September. There are many different tour packages available to choose from and you can find more information out here on the Korea Tourism Page!