A Single Shard

by Linda Sue Park

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What is the villagers' opinion on Min's work in A Single Shard?

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In the novel, villagers like Tree Ear believe that Min's work is the finest in the region and possibly in all of 12th century Korea.

As a master potter in the village of Ch'ulp'o, Min produces enviable creations of exquisite celadon ware. This gray-green celadon ware is prized by collectors from as far away as China. Because of its strategic location, Ch'ulp'o does a robust business in ceramics trade. Situated on the shores of the Western Sea, Ch'ulp'o has access to sea routes leading north and to China. The iron-rich soil in Ch'ulp'o greatly supports the production of celadon. Because of the twin advantages of soil and location, potters in Ch'ulp'o have plenty of work.

Over the years, the wealthy come to Ch'ulp'o to purchase celadon pieces for both the royal court and the Buddhist temples. In turn, the potters eventually become a prosperous group of artisans. Their work is highly revered by all the villagers, and Min's most of all.

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