The beauty of Thai food is accentuated by the glorious ceramics used to present the food. In Thailand you will also see the ubiquitous blue and white-painted ware but my favourite is Celadon. We carried a heavy box back from Chiang Mai of 12 square plates and matching bowls you see below.
I have a love for ceramics with a celadon glaze. As we travel the world and visit galleries of Asian ceramic antiquities I am more often drawn to the early pieces of celadon, all originating from China.
The celadon effect is a combination of special clay with a glaze that produces a delicate shade of green. If there is too much oxygen in the kiln then varying shades of olive-green, yellow and brown appear. In the final firing the kiln must reach 1260 C to vitrify the glaze and the reward is a bright and almost transparent finish. If it has a matt finish then it is likely it was under fired. That does not mean it is inferior all the time and many Chinese antiques have this surface.
If you have any celadon, look again at the glaze, the crackle or crazing is caused by a difference in coefficient contraction between the body and the glaze when the pot is cooling. Crackle can also be viewed as a ‘poor glaze fit’ and can be avoided if needed with certain techniques. Whilst the majority of old pieces had crackle this is still the trend followed with makers of new celadon.
Our set is from Mengrai Kilns in Chiang Mai. Thai people have a belief that storing anything with a celadon glaze keeps food cooler and longer. It may be a myth but in my opinion, if you enjoy food more when it is beautifully presented then acquire some celadon flatware.