Thai Benjarong Pottery

 

Benjarong Traditional Thai Ceramic Pottery

The gold paint used to paint benjarong sometimes has a gold content to it but, this is really not something that is verified - so you might want to be a bit careful when paying a premium price for benjarong that is supposed to be painted with 'real' gold paint. On another note, it is difficult to decide whether the colors used to paint the bencharong pottery is safe, so it might be a good idea to keep your Thai benjarong as a show piece rather than a daily use item. 

If you wish to decorate your room with some gorgeous benjarong ceramic pieces or, plan to gift one to someone near and dear to you, take a look at some bencharong vases, these are available in a range shapes and sizes. You do get some awesome benjarong cups, mugs and complete tea sets too but, the safety of these items if actually used remains unclear. 

Bencharong is a traditional form of Thai pottery that originated in the royal palaces a long time ago. There are some typical colors that almost always make an appearance in bencharong pottery, gold is one of them. Without getting into details of how Thai benjarong pottery is made, here is a very brief description. The basic object is made much like how conventional ceramic pottery is made, it is then baked at high temperatures for many hours. A glazing paint is applied to the baked pot and the pot is once again baked but for a shorter while. Once the glazed pot cools down, traditional Thai designs are drawn on the pot. In the next stage, the pots are hand painted using special paints. Once the paints are dry, the painted ceramic pot is once again baked and this fuses the paint on to the pot. 

Benjarong craftsmen have made some interesting variations in their products, this to cater to wider markets both inside Thailand and abroad. Non-traditional designs and patterns are often painted on ceramics with, colors that are traditionally used for bencharong pottery. 

The art of Bencharong has also moved to embrace objects aside from pottery. Lamp shades and attractive show pieces decorated with traditional benjarong styles are now available. If you plan to buy a few benjarong pieces on your next trip to Thailand, take sufficient precautions to ensure that the pieces don't break during the journey home. Larger pieces can be quite heavy and will also require more elaborate packaging to withstand the journey home. 

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