Bay-Area based teacher and textile artist Youngmin Lee hopes that students leave her workshops with a new appreciation for craft’s ability to transform one’s mood. “I often tell people that hand stitching is an act of wishing happiness. At the same time, people can find peace of mind and meditative effects through the motion of stitching by hand.” She aims to bring people together through recognizing the universal quality of this work, while simultaneously educating about and celebrating her traditional Korean heritage.
Youngmin is originally from South Korea, and often employs traditional stitching techniques in her teaching and personal practice. She combines Korean silks with naturally-dyed materials, which she dyes in her studio.
Recently, Youngmin has been offering classes in various techniques of Bojagi and Saeksilnubi, through Tatter’s online offerings. Often referred to as Yemulbo, Gift wrap bojagi is a patch worked, hand-stitched textile used for gift wrapping. Delicate pieces of silk combine with hand seaming to form luminous swaths of yardage. Yemulbo, gift wrap bojagi is one of many different types of bojagi. Yemul means precious gift, Bo means bojagi. Another form of bojagi is Ssamsol Jogakbo. Ssamsol refers to a flat-felled seaming technique, durable and reversible. Jogakbo refers to a type of bojagi, where patches are joined into squares and extended in an irregular, improvisational fashion until a cloth reaches the required size.
Saeksilnubi is a process of quilting two layers of fabric, binding them together with a series of intricate stitches separated with cording. The cord is called Jiseung and is made of twisted pieces of Hanji, Korean mulberry paper. This process makes the textile incredibly durable, perfect for utilitarian applications such as pouches. The designs are thrilling to make — flurries of meditative stitches radiate outwards in geometric patterns from an anchored center. The resulting quilted textile is dimensional, tactile and sturdy.
Youngmin’s latest Tatter offering is a sampler series which results in an heirloom, handbound book. This extraordinary offering refers to the global history of sampler stitching, in both flat cloth and bound book forms. Throughout history, students of sewing and all forms of needlework composed stitched practice works to catalog their progress, and perhaps to refer to later in finished pieces. Though they were not originally intended for the public eye, these objects are now some of the most valuable and beloved textile objects found today. Deeply human in their primitive states, and charming in their unselfconscious intimacy, samplers of all kinds are windows unto the daily lives of long ago.
Students of Youngmin’s Stitched Book course have the unique opportunity to continue this heritage, learning many new and unusual stitches, and binding them together into a beautiful book made of cloth.
Youngmin brings her natural love of beauty, and ethos of sharing into both her teaching and artmaking practices. It is impossible to leave one of her workshops without feeling as though you have been given a true gift.
For more information about this artist and her other offerings, please visit
LEARN WITH YOUNGMIN
Youngmin Lee is a textile artist living in the San Francisco Bay Area. With a BA in Clothing and Textile and an MFA in Fashion Design, Youngmin has presented numerous workshops, classes and demonstrations on Korean Textile Arts including workshops at numerous places such as the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, Oakland Museum, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) in Los Angeles, Mendocino Art Center and Textile Art Council of De Young Museum in San Francisco.
Youngmin’s bojagi work was shown at the Asian Art Museum’s Asia Alive program in San Francisco and other museums and galleries in the U.S. and internationally.