Saturday, April 16, 2022

Deer : A Sacred Animal With Deep Roots in Korean Taoism

by Adeline Panamaroff

When Taoism came to Korea, symbolic animals and elements were usually depicted in art as separate entities. It was in Korea where the Symbols of Longevity came to be grouped together on landscape paintings, folding screens, furniture, hanji, and embroidered pieces. Later on when Buddhism came to Korea, it also absorbed the idea of the sacred 10-12 symbols. Today they can still be seen grouped together, but smaller objects may be adorned with only one or two of the symbols. An object, box, card, fan or other item that is adored with hanji that contains deer imagery is meant to help remind the owner of the traits of the animal, grace, gentle mannerisms, and quiet temperament.

Traditional deer pattern
 used for Hanji crafts

The white deer that is found in Korea has long been part of a family of sacred animals and elements that entered the country’s lexicon of deities as far back as when the original people of Korea were still a tribal people. Animism from this time period later melded with the imported Taoism, around the 5th Century CE, and also with Buddhist beliefs, both of which came from China. As a member of the Symbols of Longevity,

Ship-jangsaeng 十長生 십장생, the deer is one of 10-12 other animals and natural elements that are often depicted together on classic Korean landscape art. Together these symbols, depicted together, were at the height of their popularity during the Joseon era (1392-1910). They are meant to remind the viewer that living with the correct mindfulness now, in this life, to be in harmony with oneself, others and to respect nature, are the basics of Taoist philosophies. 

The graceful, long neck, and fleetful feet of these quiet, gentle animals can also easily be admired for their sleek, graceful bodies. In ancient tribal times, deer were believed to be a connection between the heavenly deities and their earthly representatives. Deers’ herd mentality has also lent to the belief that deer are community oriented, making sure that no one is left behind while they are on the move.

Traditional deer pattern used for Korean crafts,
including Hanji

The deer, silent, living its life out in the peaceful woodland, is the representation of being in harmony with nature. Gently taking what you need, and respectfully leaving nature intact, can be a lesson for everyone. Visual reminders of how we need to be harmonious, gentle, and mindful of each other, is something everyone should strive for, and can be found on beautifully executed pieces of hanji art. 


Koreaners (

Tuesday, February 1, 2022

The Year of the Black Tiger!

by Adeline Panamaroff

The Lunar New Year of 2022 celebrates the tiger. In Korea, however, this is the year of the black tiger. What makes this year special you may ask? Well, traditionally people born in the year of the tiger, one of the 12 Chinese Zodiac animals, have been seen by Koreans as exhibiting characteristics of fearlessness, adventurousness and restless energy. The Korean word for this zodiac year is iminnyeon (임인년), a combination of three concepts. “Im” (임) is the Chinese symbol for black, “in” (인) is the Chinese symbol for tiger, and “nyeon” (년) is the Korean word for year. 

Tiger plate, created by HanjiNaty, available in the Etsy boutique

Tigers are revered in Korea as the form that one of the founding deities of the nation took when entering into a challenge with a bear. According to the legend, if both mammals could eat only mugwort for 100 days, they would take on human form. Part way through the tiger lost patience and withdrew from the contest. In many Korean folk tales tigers are also seen as deities of mountains. The origins of this probably lay in the fact that Korea, a land of many mountains, once had a large tiger population. This is why the tiger is used so often as a mascot for national sports teams and organisations, to show the world Korea’s fearless fighting spirit. 

Tissue box case by HanjiNaty

Part of ringing in the new year in Korea is seeing the animal that the zodiac cycle focuses on. For many, this includes a visit to local zoos or art galleries that may feature exhibits that showcase the animal in question. Seeing examples of tigers in zoos and in art is considered a way to bestow luck in the viewer. Hanging paintings of tigers around one’s home is also seen as a way to dispel evil energies. No matter how you choose to celebrate the year of the tiger, 2022 promises to be full of adventure and lively energy thanks to the influence of all the people in your life who were born in the year of this zodiac animal. 

Tiger pen holder, created by HanjiNaty, available in the Etsy boutique

Adeline Panamaroff is a freelance writer located in Edmonton, Alberta. Her writing can be found in such places as Yatta-Tachi, Anime News Network, and the Edmonton Stitcher. To find out more about her work go to


Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Unique Christmas Ornaments!

HanjiNaty Christmas ornaments are truly unique! 

Carefully crafted by hand, each ornament can add flare and style to your holiday decor.

They are available in two shapes: ball and star.

Each ornament is delicately covered by hand with a selection of high-quality Korean Hanji paper strips. 

Every ornament is unique as it displays a singular combination of papers, colors, and textures.

The ornaments, made of wood, are then coated with a water-based varnish to ensure durability and ease of care. For a final touch, a Hanji paper rope is attached so you can easily hang your ornaments from your tree, window or door frame, or.... anywhere, really!

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Don't Miss the HMK Online Market!

 HanjiNaty is thrilled to be a regular vendor in the Handmade Market Korea (HMK), an organization dedicated to offer marketing opportunities to small businesses from all over Korea. HMK is a collective meant to showcase the amazing work of artisans, artists, and small business owners.

HMK online market hosts online markets on Facebook every month and features vendors selling handmade items as well as small businesses and home businesses located in Korea.

The HMK online market is a fantastic opportunity for artisans and artists to showcase their work and for shoppers to buy unique items in the comfort of their home or on their mobile device! Easy, convenient, and safe; what else can we ask for?

For every market, dozens of vendors make their products available to buyers in a safe and convenient environment! To shop, simply join the HMK Online market page:

The next Online market will be held on October 18 (Sunday), from 2:00pm to 10:00pm.

HMK is regularly publishing its newsletter, featuring artisans and artists, and announcing future events. You can register for the newsletter to receive it directly in your inbox.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

June 29-30: Come to the Art & Craft Market in Seoul!

Come to Itaewon on June 29 and 30 to enjoy the amazing Art & Craft Market, organized by I Art Seoul!

HanjiNaty will be there to offer you a great selection of handcrafted earrings, hair accessories, and small deco items.

The Market will be open from 11am to 4pm on Saturday (June 29), and from 1pm to 6pm on Sunday (June 30).

The Gyeongridan Street Festival
on June 29 and 30!
Do not miss this chance to enjoy the buzzing atmosphere of Itaewon, as the Market will coincide with the Gyeongridan Street Festival that will be held the same weekend. Street art, buskers, street food, great arts and crafts: what is there not to love??

Amazing vendors offering handmade products

Many vendors will be there on both days to offer a fantastic selection of handcrafted jewelry, accessories, baby items, beauty products, and delicious treats.

Here is a list of the vendors you can meet at the Market :


Handmade accessories and jewelry made of high-quality Hanji paper. A traditional Korean craft with a Western twist!

On site Saturday and Sunday (June 29-30).

Lizzie's Fizzies

Shower Fizzies - If you prefer a shower to a bath, homemade Lizzie's Fizzies are the perfect option for you.
They're made with high quality sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) and citric acid, just like shower bombs. But rather than placing them into your tub, you place them on the floor of the shower. The water and steam activates the fizzing reaction, releasing aroma into the air.

On site Saturday and Sunday (June 29-30).

Beau and co shop

Specialize in handmade baby and children’s clothing and various toys/ teething accessories. I use luxury fabrics mostly European and most are certified organic.

On site Saturday and Sunday (June 29-30).

Dooloo Kids Shop

Handmade baby and children’s accessories. All items are 100% handmade with beautiful fabrics from Korea, Canada and Japan. Custom orders are welcome!

On site Saturday (June 29).

Studio Bodhi

Art studio specializing in handpainted artwork and homedecor products focused on Indian art. Includes products like kettles, trays, bottles, boxes, plates, canvas etc handpainted using high quality acrylic paints. Also conduct workshops - custom orders for sale, inquiries workshops are welcome

On site Saturday (June 29).

Tiffany Peek

Geeky, kick@ss artwork. Stickers, prints, and collectables featuring original comics and anime-inspired artwork drawn traditionally and digitally.

On site Saturday (June 29).

Anxiety and Kimbap

Korean themed and pop culture inspired enamel pins.
On site Saturday (June 29).

Catherine Carrard by Catherine C.

Cards, bookmarks and my book "Empreintes", a collection of poems, short novels (in French) with woodcut engravings.

On site Saturday (June 29).

Henna Art - Beauty and Glam Life

Beautiful henna art with 100% natural henna dye. I do pretty white henna art as well with my homemade synthetic white henna.

On site Saturday (June 29).

DN’s Odds & Ends

Vegan homemade goods
Soy-free tofu and natural homemade deodorant
On site Sunday (June 30).

Poms & Posies

Handmade heirloom quality crochet items for the little ones in your life. Specializing in 100% cotton bibs, bonnets and bows.

On site Sunday (June 30).

Gwaja Bar

Handcrafted Vintage Chocolates and Confections.
Freshly made Chocolates taste better! From Fancies to Novelties, Chocolate Bars to Gift Sets Gwaja Bar makes everything by hand from recipes that are up to 100 years old. Special orders are also available for a special occasion, or just because!

On site Sunday (June 30).

How to get there?

I Art Seoul is located in Itaewon. Take the subway to Noksapyeong station (녹사평역) and take Exit no.2. Walk north on Noksapyeong-daero until you reach the large intersection where you can take an underpass to reach to other side.

See you there!

Monday, September 3, 2018

A new Hanji craft tutorial video is now available!

A new how-to video is now available on the HanjiNaty YouTube channel!

This is the second how-to video, that shows you who to cut and glue the inner colours of a Hanji craft design.

To see the first How-to video on "How to cut Hanji patterns by hand":

In the next few months, I will continue to create and upload new videos onto the HanjiNaty's YouTube channel, introducing the different steps of the creative process.

To subscribe to the channel, simply click here:

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to leave a comment below! Enjoy!