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Decorative techniques

Sanggam buncheong(inlaid)

Designs are incised in the clay and then filled with white clay. Depending on the method of incision, this buncheong is further classified as sanggam (inlaid), and inhwa (stamped).

Sanggam (Inlay)

Inspired by the inlaid celadon of Goryeo, it is difficult to distinguish sanggam buncheong from celadon produced in the late Goryeo as the shape, designs, and color of glaze are similar. With the passage of time, however, this type of buncheong took on more and more of the characteristics of the other buncheong produced during the Joseon period. Popular during the first half of the fifteenth century, the designs on sanggam buncheong gradually became more refined during the reign of King Sejong.

An example of good-quality sanggam buncheong is a type of buncheong jar with an inlaid dragon design, 49.7 centimeters in height, which began to be produced in the early Joseon period. Chinese influence is evident on these jars in terms of size, themes, and composition of design. That the body is divided into sections depending on the motif used, and that the upper area of the body is inlaid with a large cloud and dragon design on a background of densely stamped small chrysanthemums and lotuses is reminiscent of ceramics from early Ming China. However, the lively inlaid dragon expressed jokingly in the center of the design and the stamped chrysanthemum pattern show the characteristics of buncheong in the early fifteenth century.

The designs on sanggam buncheong gradually shifted from thin lines to thicker ones, with myeon sanggam in which planar rather than linear designs dominate.

Inhwa (Stamp)

Inhwa, a variation of the sanggam, or inlaid technique, is also known as impressed design. Here the pattern is stamped to decorate the surface of a vessel. In contrast to its use of stamped patterns only on portions of the celadon from Goryeo, in buncheong it was used in a much more dynamic and comprehensive manner. In the early part of the fifteenth century, large and unique designs were used, but by mid-century, during the reign of King Sejong, the designs became smaller and denser, and they were applied with especially great care. These repeated rows of stamped, regular patterns included the rope curtain pattern or chrysanthemum florets. Much inhwa buncheong was produced in Gyeongsang-do Province and bore inscriptions that were the names of government offices and production areas, such as ‘Naeseom’ and ‘Jangheunggo.’


  • Buncheong bowl
  • Buncheong rice-bale-shaped bottle
  • Buncheong ja
Buncheong bowl
Buncheong bowl with stamped chrysanthemum pattern and inscription. 15 th. H.7.1M(D). 12.0 Hoam Museum
Buncheong rice-bale-shaped bottle
Buncheong rice-bale-shaped bottle stamped chysanthemum pattern, 15th, H.14.9M(D). 4.3B(D). 7.2W. 23.7
Buncheong ja
Buncheong jar with stamped rope-curtain pattern, 15th. H.35.8M(D). 21.5B(D). 18.7