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Ceramics & Celadon in Chiang Mai

The finest Pottery of the region is known as celadon, which has a distinctive glaze made with wood ash. The technique of producing these wares involves applying the glaze before a second high temperature firing (1260° C in a reduced atmosphere of carbon dioxide). It was developed in China at least 2000 years ago.

Traditionally the glaze is designed to "run" (flow down the pot as the glaze becomes glassy) as well as "craze" and take on a crackled appearance. Though a light green color is considered ideal, old celadons could also be yellow and brown and the glaze matt and opaque if under-fired.

The main kilns in Lanna were at Kalong (near Wiang Papao), Phan (between Chiang Rai & Phayao) and San Kamphaeng.

Just when and how the considerable skills required to make this pottery came to Lanna is uncertain. It is generally accepted that production near Chiang Mai at San Kamphaeng began early in the 14th century, and, like other kilns, was helped by Chinese potters who had moved south away from the Mongols. However there is also the possibility that the necessary skills came from a hitherto undiscovered kiln site and could be Thai in origin. These kilns may have produced fine wares, perhaps with help from earlier migrations of Chinese potters, long before the establishment of the San Kamphaeng kilns at the beginning of the 14th century.

The local industry thrived until the fall of Lanna to the Burmese. The mid-17th century war and the competition from cheaper blue and white wares from China had put out the fires in Lanna kilns. Production began again at the beginning of the 20th century, bringing Lanna pottery to a new age.

Where to see ceramics:

Traditional earthenware manufacture may be seen at Ban Muang Kung as well as Ban Kuan. Several places on the San Kamphaeng Road produce and sell celadon.

Ban Phor Liang Meun's Terracotta Arts
36 Phrapokklao Road, Soi 2, Chiang Mai 50200
Hrs. 08:00-18:00.
Bas-relief and full round figures based on the iconography of the ancient Indianised civilizations.
Tel: 053278187 Fax: 053275895

Mengrai Kilns
79/2 Arak Road, Soi Samlan 6
Hrs. 08:00-1 7:00.
Specializes in celadon and caters to the top end of the market.
Tel. 053272063 Fax. 053815017

Siam Celadon
38 Moo 10, T. Ton Pao, San Kamphaeng.
(San Kamphaeng Road, H1006 KM.10) Chiang Mai 50130
Hrs. 08:30-17:30.
An extensive factory and a "traditional kiln" on display at the back.
Tel :331526 Fax: 331958

The San Kamphaeng Kilns
60/3 Moo 13, San Kamphaeng, Chiang Mai 50130
(San Kamphaeng Road H1006 KM.11)
Hrs. 08:00-17:00.
The kilns produce celadon, "blue and white" and "Bencharong".
Tel. 053331526, 053332437 Fax. 332032

Ban Celadon
7 Moo 3, Chiang Mai - San Kamphaeng Road, Km 5.5
Tel. 053338288 , 053384889-90 Fax. 053338940
Exclusive Crafted Celadons

Ceramics Networks
192 Moo 2, Lamphun Road, Sarapee
Tel. 053423953
Large Variety Of Ceramics For Home Use

Earth & Fire At Tita Gallery
Op. Regent Resort Chiang Mai
Tel. 053298373

Prempracha's Collection
224 San Kamphaeng Road, Bo Sarng Intersection
Tel. 053338857 Tel/Fax. 053338540

Sansai Celadon
160 Moo 3, Papai, Sansai
Tel. 053498412-3

Chiang Mai Sangkhalok
200 Chiang Mai-Hod Road
Tel. 053274317, 053271977

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