Beijing & Seoul PART 2

Beijing & Seoul PART 2



This post is the second half of my recap of my trip to Asia, mainly Seoul. Back in February I was checking my e-mails while driving home from a wedding which your not suppose to do. A ceramic artist based in Seoul liked my work and wanted to chat. A few days later I met Jen (Yusun Kim) via Skype and began dreaming up collaborating on a workshop in Korea. She was cautious but curious which is just fine by mean. Sometimes It’s good to surround yourself with people that ask more questions than your use to.

We settled on April and two months later I landed at Incheon International after my Beijing class finished up. We met the following morning at the flower market and got right to work. The Beijing market is great but in different ways. Seoul offers interesting local roses, $2 a stem clematis, and an amazing Japanese wholesaler who cuts me deals on their specialty ranunculus, which im sure at this point they’re importing for the sheer beauty alone since the price tag leaves them to wilt on the shelf.








We circled the market 3 times and we made a plan for next days color palette’s and quantities. Jen has this wonderful way of moving and a beautifully expressive face. I have a hard time summing her up or explaining how big her smile can get but bottom line is she is wonderful.


It was a big shift going from a class of 27 to a class of 6. I made a real effort to tone down my energy to match the attendees. The first day was basically a long drawn out decrescendo while I nervously tried to find my power in the quiet. Isn’t there a saying about how the best singers are the ones that can manage the tension between loud and soft? So many music references tonight and full disclosure one of my tabs has the google search “term when orchestra gets quieter”.  They’re different types of intellect.




We did 2 separate 3 day intensive classes. We were able to experiment with different colors, flowers and really hone in on what we wanted the workshop to be. We even had our own hashtag ( check out #madisonhartleyworkshops for a less polished account of what really went down).

Things I'll always remember from my first trip to Seoul: Korean sheep dogs and Korean clematis

A photo posted by Madison Hartley | Oregon (@hart_floral) on



I shared a flat with a giant Korean sheep dog named Waffle. Neither of us were meant to live on the 11th floor of anything and we both had a lot of hair. She greeted me after work and let me take pictures of her as we both looked out the giant wall sized-window. We both seemed to like watching the people on the sidewalk. I slept on the bed backwards with my head under the covers as not to feel like the city was swallowing me whole and she opted for the couch. See: feng shui energy highways and bad bed window alignment. Asia man.



Being alone is one of the best things for you. I can always tell who has successful spent a serious amount of time to themselves and not necessarily by choice. Theres a certain feeling there that can’t be duplicated. Diane Von Furstenberg famously said:

“The most important relationship in your life is the relationship you have with yourself. Because no matter what happens, you will always be with yourself.”

As you read it try to imagine her voice. It becomes much more impactful with an exotic accent. I watch her interviews when I’ve been acting “nice” for too long which isn’t actually very nice at all.



So much beauty, so many photos. I have a theory that blogging is about to make a major comeback.

In October we head back for another class. 15 students this time in a historic Korean home called a Hanok. Get ready for picture overload. Thanks for reading! Up next week: Australians in Oregon and who am I if im not my job?










  • Berangere Altier
    Posted at 15:59h, 17 May

    Loved it.. Currently going to be alone in this big LA city for a month and a half. Having a hard time figuring it out how that will be for me! So this post was quite fitting. Beautiful photos.

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