The Beauty of Thai Celadon

For craft enthusiasts, Northern Thailand means wood carving, ceramics, silk, textiles, paper, jewellery, umbrellas, hilltribe embroidery, lacquerware and spa products. If pottery is your thing, you can check out Chiangmai’s celadon showroom/factories.

I did that on a recent visit. My pick: Baan Celadon.

The subtle shades of Thai celadon.

The subtle shades of Thai celadon at Baan Celadon.

 

Baan Celadon’s showroom. The workshop is at the back.

Baan Celadon’s showroom. The workshop is at the back.

Baan Celadon is a well-established producer based in Chiang Mai which takes custom orders.

Baan Celadon is a well-established producer based in Chiang Mai which takes custom orders.

“Baan” is the Thai word for house. Celadon refers to a type of ceramics with a grey-green glaze originating from China but is today a major export of Thailand. This place will show you how far the Thais have taken their celadon industry.

Chiangmai’s Black Clay

The story of Chiangmai’s celadon begins with the black clay from the city’s surrounding areas.

It is first processed into powder form before being kneaded into a workable consistency. It is then formed on the potter’s wheel, mold or with a jigger.

The clay is black, but not for long.

The clay is black, but not for long.

Carving is one way to embellish a piece of celadon.

Carving is one way to embellish a piece of celadon.

Patterns may then be carved onto the surface before the piece is air-dry.

Painting on celadon

The first firing hardens the clay, which makes it easy for the artists to paint on their designs.

Hardened after first firing, the pieces are ready to be worked on by artists.

Hardened after first firing, the pieces are ready to be worked on by artists.

The artist’s tools.

An artist’s work area.

Work in progress.

The painting can be quite elaborate.

Artist at work.

Artist at work and a finished sample.

The pieces are then fired again to obtain the final glossy grey-green finish.

Before and after glazing.

Before and after glazing and firing.

The showroom displays a wide variety of celadon products.

I like the simpler, barely decorated ones.

Appreciating local handicrafts and shopping in Thailand can be quite a highlight for a holiday.

Celadon — a souvenir from Chiang Mai.

The chosen one.

Access: From Chiangmai city centre, Baan Celadon is a 500 Baht ride on the local pick-up truck shared-taxi service call “Song-Thaew”. The driver waited for us and sent us back to the city after our tour.

The “song thaew” is Chiang Mai’s shared taxi service. The red coloured ones here ply city routes.

The “song-thaew” is Chiangmai’s shared taxi service. The red coloured ones you see here ply city routes.

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