Materials of traditional brasswares are basically alloys of copper and non-ferrous metals, which were already made in Asia during the Bronze Age of the late 3,000s. In 1950, around 1,500 BC, Chinese bronzes were cast, and earthenhware, weapons, and musical instruments were made. The Bronze Age of Korea was about 1,000 years later than China, and artifacts such as Donggeum, Donggwa (Kwakchang), Ssangduryeong, and Dongkyeong were excavated.
During the Three Kingdoms Period and the Unified Silla Period, bronze alloys and molding techniques developed, and Buddhist arts such as Buddha and buddhist temple bell were mainly made. In the Goryeo Dynasty, metal crafts continued to be developed, and the bronze bottles, the bronze censer and the Dongkyeong were elaborated. In Korea in the 12th century, various brasswares began to be used in real life. The brass bowls used in this era, such as tableware and utensils used in ancestral rites, the body is very thin and sturdy.
Such high-quality brasswares were made by beating together copper and tin, which is the traditional method of making brasswares. However, as the middle of the Joseon Dynasty began to grow, the daily demand for daily necessities made of bronze, such as tableware set, censers, braziers, etc., increased. Instead of beating, a technique for casting was made, that was easy and mass-produced. The casting brasswares used copper and zinc alloys differently from the alloys of flat brasswares(bangjja brasswares)
As such, there are casting methods and weaving methods in organic production methods. The casting technique is a method of making a product by pouring a molten copper alloy into a casting mold. The bowl (hap) made by the casting technique has the disadvantage that it is bent or broken and easily discolored compared to the flat brasswares (bangjja) bowl.
The technique of bangjja is to make the shape of the bowl by hammering it after warming it in the fire. Here, the term ‘bangjja’ means an alloy of copper and tin mixed in a constant proportion. Bangjja brasswares are resistant to shock and have a long service life. So this method was mainly used in the production of foodstuffs as it is said that toxic mixtures are removed from the human body. The Bangjja brasswares were also suitable for the production of old Pungmul instruments.
Wealthy families used a lot of bangjja bowls and ordinary people frequently used the jumul bowls for dining. In the middle of the Joseon Dynasty, the demand for casting brasswares increased rapidly, from the tableware to the musical instruments, and to the general living tools. In particular, Gyeonggi-do Anseong was well known for its ‘Anseong fit’ organics and said by people as the proverb.
As the number of use of brasswares expanded, so did the kinds of them. Various brassware products can be categorized into tableware, musical instruments, tableware for memorial service, tableware for buddhist service and household appliances.
The tableware (bansangi) refers to a dishware that serves food directly. Brassware is known as a non-toxic, odorless metal and has been very useful for eating. These are bowls, wide bowls, small bowls, sauce bowls, side-dish bowls, spoons and trays.
Most musical instruments are made in the form of a bangjja technique, including the rituals of drum instruments, jing and jabara, which are used in Buddhists.
The ritual tableware refers to the bowls that holds the offerings presented to the priesthood when the memorial service is held. There are candle holders, censers, censer sticks, rice cake stand, and kettles.
Buddhist tableware refers to the tools used in the temple. There are tips on how monks practice their rituals, bowl that serves rice on a Buddhist altar, Buddhist bells, Buddhist soldiers, and bara.
Household utensils can be divided into kitchen utensils, stationery tools and general household utensils. Kitchen utensils include spoons, spatulas, ladles (kettles), bowls, cutlery, bowls, peaked soup spoons, and small rice pots.
Stationery tools include portable ink pens and ink case, water case, and school bells.
Common household tools include basin, chamber pot, brazier, chopsticks, ashtray, brass iron, lock, hairpin, ritual tools and cowbells.