Thai ceramic artist Duangkamol, who crafts these striking blue vases, works in a tradition that is close to 2,000 years old. Chinese potters brought the techniques of wood ash-glazed celadon to northern Thailand more than 700 years ago. This collection of vases reproduces classic shapes and traditional incised designs that have been treasured for hundreds of years. The distinctive crackled surface forms as the ceramic and the glaze cool at different rates, an effect that’s called crazing.
Handcrafted in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Stoneware and wood-ash glaze. Large vase: 10 1/2"H x 6" diameter. Set of three small vases: 5 3/4"H x 4" diameter; 4 1/2"H x 3 1/2" diameter; 3 1/2"H x 3 1/2" diameter.
Many Thai artisans inherit their calling from their parents, and Duangkamol is no different. Although her parents were both doctors, they had a love for ceramics and stoneware and founded a workshop to pursue that hobby. She learned about design and glazing from her parents’ artisan friends and has now been working in celadon ceramics herself for more than 30 years. “I never tire of it,” she says.
Most of her works are reproductions of Thai and Chinese vases, ginger jars, and figurines, created with ornate incisions and bas-relief. She says, “My intention is to maintain the ancient art of making celadon and stoneware so that our future generations can enjoy these pieces.” And as younger generations have discovered the craft, she has begun producing more contemporary styles alongside the traditional forms. “I hope more people will understand and appreciate the art of celadon ceramic,” Duangkamol says. “Each piece that I make has many stories to tell.”
The delicately crackled surface of celadon ceramics has been a Thai trademark for 700 years, since the technique arrived there via Chinese artisans. The term "celadon" comes from the Sanskrit words for green stone, as its most common glaze resembles jade. But celadon also comes in shades from light gray to honey yellow to cobalt blue.
The stoneware is high-fired using a handmade mixture of wood-ash glaze, and the cracks are formed because of the difference in temperature between the ceramic and the glaze as the newly fired piece cools.