Metalwork is the activity of making vessels and trinkets out of metal as the main material.
It was developed in Korea in its early days.
The Korean people produced many refined metal goods already in the Bronze Age.
Metalwork started with carving utensils and articles for daily use with ornament reflective of people’s taste and desire or patterns of natural things.
Among the ancient relics discovered in different places of the country are narrow brass dagger and bronze mirror whose craftsmanship is known as the first art of metalwork.
A mirror with a fine thread pattern and gilt-bronze face piece with animal and plant patterns from the period of Ancient Joson (the early 30th century BC-108 BC), gilt-bronze openwork ornaments, gold crown and gold earring from the period of Koguryo (277 BC-AD 668), bronze mirror from the period of Koryo (918-1392), personal trinkets decorated with seven precious signs from the period of the feudal Joson dynasty (1392-1910) and other metalwork heritage testify to the long and rich metalwork tradition of Korea.
Metalwork in the DPRK now develops on a higher stage.
Modern metal processing technology is applied and precise casting method and other advanced casting methods and new stamping technology such as explosive moulding methods are introduced to make many delicate and precise metalwork products.
In particular, various daily necessaries and ornaments made of silver cover a large proportion of such goods and have been widely used among the Korean people. The tradition still remains unchanged today.
Typical are cup, spoon and chopsticks, plate, kettle, tray and other vessels made of silver and various inorganic ornaments.
Trinkets, ring, ornamental knife and so on used by the Korean people for a long time are diverse in use and variety, and are worth a treasure.
From ancient times it was a Korean custom that a silver ring handed down through generations was given to a married daughter and that when she gave birth to a son or daughter, they were given an ornamental silver knife and a trinket respectively. Today, at the Pyongyang Maternity Hospital, newborn triplets are presented with such ornaments, that is, gold rings to the female and silver knives to the male.
Metalwork was registered as a national intangible cultural heritage element in November last year.