A feature on the revived pottery industry in Nakhon Ratchasima province in Northeast Thailand, where a centuries-old pottery tradition is being adapted to new products and tastes.
Yahoo News, 21 March 2012
The province, which despite being Thailand’s largest and steeped in centuries of history, is hoping to use the villages as a draw for the foreign tourists who pack other parts of the nation to bring in still more income.
“When visitors from abroad come to Thailand they like to go to the beaches… Or they go to the mountains in Chiang Mai. Bringing tourism to the province is a top priority for us,” said Chakrin Cherdchai, the chairman of Nakorn Ratchasima’s Chamber of Commerce.
Some villages are already reaping the benefits. Dan Kwian, a village just a few minutes drive from Nong Sanoe, receives busloads of Chinese visitors during peak holiday seasons.
Here, the sculptures are finished in a large communal firing oven tended by young men bearing sacred tattoos on their backs and arms.
The work is exhausting and the men regularly fill their plastic cups with cold water until the last sculpture is carried out and set to cool, signaling the end of a long work day.