Chiang Mai is a shopper’s paradise where quality craft pieces and handmade, traditional items still sell for very little. For this, celadon is one of the region’s best known handicrafts as it is elegantly simple in tones of the palest gray-greens. The distinctive colour of the glaze comes from a mixture of local clay and wood ash. Although ceramics were produced in Thailand as far back as the 9th century, the expertise and techniques for producing celadon came from China in the late 13th century. According to tradition, the special glaze was developed to simulate the appearance of jade which, for thousands of years, has been revered by the Chinese as the royal gemstone.
Today, these traditional techniques of manufacturing are still used at Baan Celadon factory, located on Sankampaeng Road. This factory uses the same process as in the past. As you walk in the workshop space you can see craftspeople work in and prepare the clay, shape it on a potter’s wheel, incise it with traditional patterns and leave it to dry. The clay used in celadon is very important : it is mixed with water and milled for 15 hours then, after being left in the open air for two to three days, the clay is once again mixed with water and milled again. At this stage, the clay is ready to be hand moulded by a master craftsman and the desired products are left to dry naturally for a day. Any engraving or painting is carried out before the clay is completely dry. The articles are placed in the sun to speed up the process. After drying, the moulded pieces are fired in a kiln at temperatures between 600 and 800 degrees Celsius, then dipped in a special celadon glaze containing kaolin, calcium carbonate, silica, ball clay, potash feldspar and sodium mixed with ash from various woods.
After allowing the glaze to dry, the glazed stoneware is fired once again, but this time at a temperature of 1,270 degrees Celsius, for about 11 hours. The distinctive “crackled” look beneath the glaze, by which celadon is instantly recognised, occurs during cooling.
Baan Celadon showroom brings you a variety of handcrafted wares ranging from vases and lamp bases to figurines, all with this unique crackled glaze. Most of the pieces sold at their showroom are made of plain celadon, and some pieces are also hand painted on celadon. At any time of the day, you can watch the many steps of celadon making and bring back home unique hand-made souvenirs. This showroom is a quiet and relaxing place to go where you will see ancestral making techniques use for the making of modern decoration pieces.
BAAN CELADON :
7 Moo3 Chiang Mai-Sankampaeng Rd. Chiang Mai.
Tel. 053-338 288