I have mentioned Doi Din Dang pottery in a previous post. I was so impressed with the place I decided to do a re-visit when exploring Chiang Rai recently with my brother and sister-in-law. It is best combined with seeing the Black House, my post HERE, as they are both a few Kms to the North of Chiang Rai on Highway 1.
Finding the pottery is not that easy as there is no significant signage on the road, as usual. I missed the turn off even though I had been there before. Best to do your Google street view first. The road takes you through rice field and small developments, which is a nice contrast to the busy main road to get there.
The pottery itself is set in a lovely, peaceful treed area and comprises workshops, a shop, a display area and cafe. Even if you aren’t into ceramics it is a great spot to have a coffee and sabai, sabai – relax, relax.
I have pinched these words, which give you an insight to the artist Somluk Pantiboon and what his philosophy is:
“Somluk Pantiboon is an international artist whose award-winning ceramics are flavoured by a great sense of the local. Born in Chiang Rai and trained in Chiang Mai, Somluk worked for five years on pottery and printing projects at Khmer and Laos refugee camps before training with master ceramicists in Japan.
His training in Japan allowed him to fully understand how a variety of influences and techniques may be absorbed and distilled. On settling in Chiang Rai, Somluk and his wife, Tamako, founded Doy Din Dang, a showcase and studio for his work. Nestled amidst idyllic scenery, Somluk and Tamako are ever-present to greet visitors, and their café adds to a certain ambiance.
The simplicity of Somluk’s large and robust ceramic vessels belies a complexity of thought and references. Based on the form of seeds, the artist is concerned with cycles of growth and rebirth—ideas that can be generically linked to Buddhist thought—and Somluk has written about his concerns for the detrimental environmental effects of consumer culture. His ceramics ultimately emerge as objects of contemplation; their organic and tactile forms, with naturally uneven glazes, suggesting a means of thinking about our relationship to nature and the world we live in.”
As is so often the case in Thailand it is knowing where the hidden gems are that makes the country special, and they are often hidden. It is one of the main aims of my blog especially in it’s “new” incarnation to bring some of these gems to light so you can enjoy them as much as I have in discovering them.
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