fbpx

An afternoon with
Aoon Pottery

22.06.18

"It started as a hobby. But once I started spending more and more time on it, I knew I had to turn it into a full-time job. Having a background in engineering actually really helped me as ceramic-making requires experience in both art and science."

Mr. Roots: Please introduce yourself.

Nguan: My name is Nguan, I’m a ceramic maker at Aoon Pottery.

 

Mr. Roots: So you were an engineer before, how did you get into ceramics?

Nguan: It started as a hobby. But once I started spending more and more time on it, I knew I had to turn it into a full-time job. Having a background in engineering actually really helped me as ceramic-making requires experience in both art and science.

 

Mr. Roots: You spent one year learning about ceramics in Doi Din Dang, Chiang Rai. What was that like?

Nguan: I started as an apprentice and assisted everyone at Doi Din Dang. I was happy to do anything that they wanted me to do. For the first month, I was responsible for collecting water; second month I got to prepare the clay. I took about three months until I was able to shape the clay. I wanted to understand the basics first and I knew that the only way to do that was to assist other ceramic makers first.

It really gave me a different perspective, it taught me to be open-minded and that all the things I learned back then can be useful for today.

Mr. Roots: What does the name ‘Aoon Pottery’ mean?

Nguan: ‘Aoon’ is a word that I really liked. When you hear the word, you feel like it’s not too much, or too little. It’s not overly hot nor too cold. Some of our customers have said that when they see our work, it feels warm and homey. So that’s why we used the word ‘Aoon’ (which is translated as ‘warm’ in Thai) as the name of the studio.

 

Mr. Roots: What do you consider as a good ceramic piece?

Nguan: I think it should be an item that serves its purpose well. It should make the person using it feel good while ticking all the boxes of functionality. Because preferences and feelings are so individual and subjective, one person might like a coffee mug with a handle so they don’t feel the heat seeping through, whereas someone else might want a handleless mug so they can really enjoy the warmth and the texture of the mug. These are the things that keep us really open-minded, we’re not the ones who can judge what’s a good piece and what’s a bad one. ‘Good’ looks and feels different for everyone.

 

Mr. Roots: Tell us about the ceramic cups you made for Roots.

Nguan: We were so excited when Roots approached us because we knew we had similar passion and mindset. The idea was to translate Roots’ new direction towards developing Thai coffee into our work. So we decided use soil from different regions that produced coffee for Roots to create this coffee cup.

 

Mr. Roots: Do you think there’s any similarities between a ceramic artist and a barista?

Nguan: Yes, for sure. But I think there’s something in common in a lot of jobs that we provide or make something for other people. If you make the coffee that nobody drinks, then there’s no value to it. The same can be said for ceramics. Even if we make the finest pieces but there’s nobody to use it then it will be a waste.

 

Mr. Roots: Is there anything you’d like to tell our customers?

Nguan: Try drinking coffee from the cup we’ve designed for Roots. I think it’s a special experience that you’ll have to try for yourself to understand.

READ OTHER STORIES

https://rootsbkk.com/journal/an-afternoon-with-aoon-pottery/

Thank you for subscribe

Thank you! We'll be in touch.

OKAY