FOOD & STYLE

OUGLASSWORK Brightens Up Summer Dining Table
Leave it as is. A plate made by OUGLASSWORK shines in itself. OUGLASSWORK is a glass brand launched by glass artist Yoo Hye-yeon. Her colorful collection is exquisite and practical.
Thoughts on glass have always been divided into two sides. It is beautiful, yet difficult to handle and expensive. Or it is common, yet convenient and cheap. What we use in our households usually belong to the latter group. To change such stereotypical dichotomy, glass artist Yoo Hye-yeon started making a glassware that is both functional and pretty. “I thought I would try creating something in-between. Something pretty that is also worth having and fit for daily usage.” What helped her make the decision was the five years she had stepped away from glassmaking. After studying glass art in college and graduated school with a focus on sculpting and, after graduation, on glass tiles, she took a break from work for parenting after marriage. “Back in school, in order to make something useful, the students in the glass-blowing class created cups, and those including myself specializing in kiln came up with bowls. When I was home with my child, I was washing a plate that I had made myself one day, and realized how heavy it was. The thickness of glass does not prevent it from breaking. When I returned to work after the parenting break, I began considering the idea of light glassware.” She used to melt two sheets of 3mm-thick glass to produce weighty glass bowls that were 5-6mm thick. She tried forming a bowl with one sheet of 3mm-thick glass. “After the first trial, it turned out it was light yet sturdy and could be used practically without any problem.” Plates using glass sheets of various colors have thus become the signature products of OUGLASSWORK.
오유글라스워크 쇼룸에 진열된 접시들

Plates on display at OUGLASSWORK’s showroom

Raised by the parents who ran a tile manufacturer, Yoo naturally grew interested in glass. Her current OUGLASSWORK workshop is located in Miryang, South Gyeongsang Province, next to her parents’ factory. The artist makes sturdy, functional glass pieces one by one by hand and bakes them in the kiln at her workshop. The entire process is in charge of Yoo and her co-worker whom she met in college. “We call ourselves craft laborers. (laugh) For our ‘Aurora OU Plate,’ we hand-painted the pigments picked from the color of aurora.” Being handmade, no two products are identical, even in the same line of design. Bubbles trapped inside the melted glass or patterns engraved on the bottom of the bowl are the indicators of handiwork. These elements add charm to handmade goods, and the same goes for OUGLASSWORK merchandise as well.
Yoo’s glass brand first became known through Instagram. Plates of mesmerizing tones are instantly captivating. Unfortunately, colored sheet glass is not produced in Korea so Yoo relies on the imported material entirely for her work. Among numerous choices, she picks the sheets of glass whose colors will blend well with the style of OUGLASSWORK, and then transforms them into bowls, plates, and saucers. From a purple color similar to that of red bean porridge(patjuk) to refreshing olive and mint, and dark gray that appears to be almost black, her collection certainly features unique, fascinating tones that have not been widely used in the glassware so far.
접시의 매트한 질감과 색감이 돋보인다.

The plate has the matte texture and color.

The idea that what is simple is beautiful holds true with OUGLASSWORK products. However, simplicity often leads to the belittlement of the complicated effort needed for the completion of a piece. “There are some who think our products sell relatively easily despite the fact it uses a mere sheet of glass, and try copying us. It doesn’t concern me too much. There isn’t just one circle. Irregular circles are not easy to mold. Before when I used to focus on sculpting, I prioritized decorational work over other elements as if to brag about my techniques of creating showy embellishments. I would put in all kinds of techniques to work. Thanks to my father’s tile-making business, I could easily get rare materials. So to me, right now, it’s like, ‘Been there, done that.’ I find meaning in OUGLASSWORK now.” She experienced numerous trials and errors before the launch of her own glassware brand which encompasses the inspirations she received from glass artists such as Karen Lamonte and Silvia Levenson during her college years, along with her study of various materials and experiments concerning the property of glass. “I am certain that nobody can recreate my work even by using the same colored sheet of glass.”
작업실에서 포즈를 취하고 있는 유혜연 작가 © 유혜연

Yoo Hye-yeon poses inside her atelier © Yoo Hye-yeon

오유글라스워크의 한남동 쇼룸 전경

View of OUTGLASSWORK’s Hannam-dong showroom

OUGLASSWORK operates a showroom in Hannam-dong, Yongsan. Yoo works in the workshop in Miryang and visits the Seoul showroom once a month for sales and classes. If you time it well, you may be able to see the artist discussing her work and make a purchase directly at the showroom. The showroom’s open dates and hours, as well as information on glassmaking classes, will be notified via the Instagram account at www.instagram.com/ouglasswork. For online purchases, you can go to living select shop ‘Seoul Bund,’ ‘TWL,’ and art and lifestyle shop ‘Gallery Kabinett.’ Now, after the purchase, how should you handle the glassware? 
“Glasswares are not special objets, but even an ordinary apple can look extraordinary on them. That doesn’t mean I made them to only go with certain foods. My design focuses on making something that will blend well with any item in the house while drawing attention to it.” 
No need to obsess about putting something on the glassware. The color of the glassware alone is charismatic. Five years have passed since the launching of the brand. Those who have used OUGLASSWORK products say the glass bowls and plates are easier to handle and maintain than they thought. “I don’t have a secret technique. If you like them and take good care of them, they will last a long time.” Occasional reviews about how the husband broke a plate would be a good example of her explanation. It is true that these delicate glasswares should be handled with affection so that they can brighten up your dining table for as long as they can.
OUGLASSWORK Bowls
OUGLASSWORK presents the ‘OU’ line with products of various colors and shapes. So far a total of five collections, including Basic, Gold Rim, Matt, Prit, and Aurora have been released. The brand plans to release Semimatt, between Matt and Basic, this fall.
베이직 오유 플레이트

베이직 오유 플레이트

베이직 오유 플레이트

베이직 오유 플레이트

Basic OU | A sheet of glass is cut into shapes for this basic collection. For casual dining, six bright colors are presented.
골드림 오유 플레이트

골드림 오유 플레이트

Gold Rim OU | A thin gold-colored edge is added to the Basic OU. Preferred by customers with a feminine and classic taste. Four classy and elegant tones are available.
매트 오유 플레이트

매트 오유 플레이트

Matt OU | A line of products using subdued, low-chroma colors. A matt finish is applied to the basic plate line for opaqueness.
오로라 오유 플레이트

Aurora OU | Special pigments are used to recreate the colors of aurora. Has a natural-looking charm because of handiwork without the artificiality of a factory-produced glassware.
프릿 오유 플레이트

프릿 오유 플레이트

Prit OU | The patterned glass is made by inserting colored pieces into the basic sheet of glass. Because the patterns aren’t painted on, you can actually feel their texture, and no two patterns are the same.
August 2020 Editor:Kim Hyewon
Photographer:Ahn Garam

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  • August 2020
  • Editor: Kim Hyewon
  • Photographer: Ahn Garam
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