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Ceramics

Chiang Mai, Lampang and Lamphun provinces are at the heart of Thailand’s ceramic industry, but Chiang Mai is recognised as the home of the renaissance of Northern Thailand’s most famous traditionally made ceramic, Celadon. The region’s ceramic and earthenware industries include both contemporary and traditionally designed products – both of which play important roles in Northern Thailand’s tourist and export markets.

Northern Thailand has a long history of producing quality ceramics, though it was the influence of early Chinese migrants that inspired the peoples of Northern Thailand to make Celadon. Historic remains of distinct Lanna Celadon have been excavated in Asia, the Middle East, China, Indonesia and the Philippines.
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The Mon and Khorm inhabitants of Sri Satchanalai are known to have included stoneware for the construction of temples as far back as the tenth century A.D. Jugs, cooking pots and domestic utensils also saw daily use. Unglazed pots excavated at a burial site in Ban Chiang have been dated to 2100 B.C. It was in this area, South of Lanna, with its superior clay, that Thai Celadon was first produced.

Perhaps the finest of ancient ceramics to emerge from Northern Thailand is Celadon. It originated in China’s Zhejiang province and was later introduced to the Sukhothai and Ayutthaya as Sangkaloke Pottery. The typically green-glazed Celadon was desirable because of its resemblance to jade, a colour long associated with wealth and success.

In addition to the eponymous green glaze – Celadon being the Sanskrit for ‘green Stone’ – Chiang Mai artisans also produce glazes of golden-brown, bronze, blue, grey, white, blood red, and yellow.
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Varieties of Ceramics
Celadon
Common Celadon products with its distinctive green crackled glaze include dinnerware, vases, bathroom ware, and figurines and lamps. Whether traditional or contemporary, all Northern Thai Celadon products exhibit distinctive colours and textures.

Benjarong
This highly refined, intricately hand-painted ceramic was once reserved for the royal dining table. The production of Benjarong is incredibly labour-intensive. Each of the five colours used to decorate the vessels are applied successively and fired five times. The paints used generally consist of natural materials that brighten with firing. The vessels are often gilded after painting to heighten the element of luxury.
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Blue & White wares
Another type of pottery synonymous with Northern Thailand is blue and white porcelain. These under-glazed wares, now produced in San Kampaeng and Hang Dong, are painted with a blue pigment derived from cobalt dioxide before being fired.

Terracotta
The word terracotta refers to a type of porous clay-based ceramic, but also to the products’ brownish orange hue. Terracotta pieces can be glazed or unglazed and were originally made without the use of a potter’s wheel. This hand- technique was used to create early Buddha images, and is now used to create figures that allude to past folktales and ancient murals. Unlike marble, much used by the Greeks, terracotta can break easily so it is rare to find antiques more than 100-200 years old.

Ceramics Showcase

Lanna Art Collection Nata Keta Leela Arrom Collection Ikat Collection Lai Moo Hin Collection

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