Chiangmai Celadon  

Production of celadon

History of Celadon

During 1300-1500 A.D., Sukhothai – the capital of the first Thai Kingdom – was the production center of the greenish-glazed stoneware known as “Sangkhaloke” wares due to the mispronunciation of Sawankhaloke – the name of an important production site of the kingdom.

In general Westerners call this kind of ceramic “Celadon” after a French term, but in fact Celadon originated in China whose products have always been easily identified with Chinese characters at the bottom of the vessels. But if a vessel bears Thai letters instead, it was certainly made in Thailand.

Sukhothai was the center of the continual production of Celadon for over 200 years as evidenced by hundreds of old kilns excavated at Tambon Ban Ko Noi and Tambon Payang in Sawankhaloke. In addition, fine specimens of Thai Celadon have also been found in different countries along the ancient shipping trade route in that era such as Java, Sumatra, Malacca, the Philippines, Japan.

At the end of Sukhothai period, the kingdom had been constantly weakened by warfare against the invasions of neighboring kingdoms, which eventually led to the southward-shifting of the capital to Ayutthaya, thus the halt of Celadon production at Sukhothai.

During Ayutthaya period, around 1550-1750, a lot of porcelain was imported from China for uses in Royal palace. These ceramic wares, the product of Jiang-Xi Province, made of semi white kaolin clay, consequently became more popular than Celadon among the Thais who called them “Gungsai” or “Blue China”,.
In Chiang Mai, the low-fired earthenware or Terra Cotta, like water containers, pots and vases, has originally long been produced for daily life uses. Later on, in 1950, groups of Shan people migrating from Shan State, Myanmar, founded several wood-fueled kilns near “Chang Peuk” the city’s northern gate, making high-fired vessels glazed with wood ashes. Their products, apparently destined for local markets, such as pots for soaking sticky rice, flower pots, water pots for cabinet stands etc., were all green glaze stoneware or Celadon.

Ever since Celadon wares in different forms have been developed to meet all functional needs. And later, when some westerners have participated in this beautiful craftsmanship by operating some celadon factories, a more variety of designs has been produced, such as dinning sets, vases, and decorative items. As a result, Celadon has become increasingly popular, thus encouraging its further and various improvement. A number of factories in Chiang Mai have become well known, and the majority of them appreciatively maintain the traditional production method with minimum mechanical devices, including using the ancient glaze formula prepared with the ashes of Overcus belutina and Terminalialate heyna.

As a result, Chiang Mai has been recognized as the home of the reestablishment of traditionally-produced Celadon, and sustaining the beauty of Sukhothai arts for over than 70 years.

Source: Miss Paichitr Uengsiriwat, Rajamanagala University of Technology Lanna, February 2009

Production of Celadon

Production of celadon


Preparing the clay for the production of Celadon. The clay used in the production of quality stoneware is rich topsoil or “din dum”, sourced in Chiang Mai province, which is disintegrated, finely grounded and sifted, to ensure that the final product is composed of high quality clay.


The powdered clay from Step1 is then combined with water, to cleanse the clay and remove any remaining debris, before being passed through a pug mill to remove water, followed by compression into slabs of purified clay.


After compression in the pug mill, the clay is exposed to open air for a short while to allow organic matters in the clay to assemble.


The clay is finely kneaded to remove air bubbles.


Production of celadon Production of celadon


The clay continues to one of a variety of forming processes:
- Forming on the wheel.
- Forming by ‘jigger’ (rotating the clay under a foaming knife).
Production of celadon


Allowing the product to dry naturally before being refined one more time.
Production of celadon


Ornate details are hand-carved into the refined product.
Production of celadon


The following process is biscuit firing, where the products are fired at a temperature of 800 degrees Celsius for 7-8 hours to achieve a light-brown product that is known as “Biscuit”.
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Inspecting the “biscuit” for fractures and other defects. If no additional designs are to be added, the product is prepared to be glazed, otherwise the product is then passed on to be painted and colored.
Production of celadon Production of celadon


The product is coated with a glaze that has been prepared from rice paddy top-soil and laurel ash, before being dried, and glazed again to perfection and to eliminate air bubbles.
Production of celadon Production of celadon


Fired at 1,260-1,300 degrees Celsius for 12 hours and left to cool within the kiln for an additional 8-10 hours before the kiln is opened, resulting in an impressive and distinct Celadon glazed product that highly resembles jade.


Allright 2014 by: CHIANGMAI CELADON (2015) Limited Partnership

135/4 Moo 6 Doisaket - Bosang Rd., Papong, Doisaket, Chiang Mai 50220, Tel. 66-53-484693, 484695, Fax 66-53-484692
info@chiangmaiceladon.com, Website: www.chiangmaiceladon.com, Facebook: www.facebook.com/chiangmaiceladon

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