Commonware
Jun 29, 2015

Celadonware is a traditional Thai ceramic that has an historic reputation for its accessibility and affordability. Distinguished by its light green glaze derived from hardwood ash, it has embodied a unique connection between maker, place, material and environment. However, with industrialisation, surging labour costs and the emergence of cheap chemical substitutes, this culturally symbolic glaze is now rarely used.

Commonware explores ways of creating glaze from immediately available wood ash, that produced by street food vendors, rice paddies, and offcuts and sawdust from furniture factories. Used in the making of the Celadon glaze, this reclaimed ash offers a more sustainable and cost-effective alternative to the burning of ‘Rogfah’, a hardwood that takes a long time to grow, yet provides a comparable authenticity. The ash collection process, meanwhile, helps to reinforce thinking that waste can be a resource. This recycled wood ash glaze opens the way for re-establishing Celadon ware as the accessible and democratic cultural symbol it once was, and re-connects the maker to his immediate environment.

 

porcelain, wood-ash glaze