Writer : Editor Team
Translator : Suchanart Jarupaiboon
Lampang is well-known to most Thais for its “chicken bowls.” Manufactured and made famous by Dhanabodee Ceremic, the first ceramics factory in the province which is currently managed by the second generation of the family. A portion of their factory has now been turned into a museum open to visitors interested in their story.
The factory was established after Apa E (Simyo Saechin), a Chinese immigrant originally from Guangdong who traveled to Thailand with the hope of settling down here, had discovered kaolin for the first time in Lampang. He applied Guangdong’s famous ceramics-making techniques in his creation of the iconic chicken bowls.
As time passed and the business was handed over to his children, sales of chicken bowls were hit by economic recession. Panasin Dhanabodeesakul, one of the heirs who studied design, founded a ceramics factory called “Dhanabodee Art Ceramic,” where he incorporates ceramics-making techniques used in producing chicken bowls into modern design to create home décor items. At present, Dhanabodee is associated with two types of products. One is the Dhanabodee Factory that continues to manufacture chicken bowls and distribute them nationwide; and the other is Dhanabodee Art Ceramic which offers contemporary products, which are currently being exported to more than 70 countries across the globe. However modern his products appear, the design has maintained the brand’s core identity, which is the original chicken bowl.
One of the most surprising things is, after sales of chicken bowls dropped due to economic conditions, the incorporation of chicken bowls, the starting point for Dhanabodee Art Ceremic into contemporary design works, displayed in various trade fairs actually triggered renewed interest in chicken bowls, which in turn led to an increase in production.
But on second thoughts, this probably shouldn’t come as a surprise after all. Because at some point in our life, we just can’t help but look back to the good old days.
For more information on the museum : facebook.com/CeramicMuseum Website: dhanabadee.com