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An image of Bowl with fluted exterior decoration by Sawankhalok ware, Thailand. Collection of the AGNSW.
TAASA members in two groups, each restricted to 10 people, had the opportunity to closely examine some Thai ceramics at the archives of the AGNSW. Ably led by Matt Cox, Assistant Curator, Asian Art, and collector, John Yu, members enjoyed a chronological overview of ceramics from the Ban Chiang period (c.2nd century BCE) of northeast Thailand and other northern kilns of Kalong, Paan and Phayao, and from the later southern sites of Sukhothai and Sawankhalok.
Although many of the earthenware and stoneware ceramics from 12th -16th c. were made for domestic and ritual use, they were also traded with neighbouring Southeast Asian countries via maritime routes, particularly when China’s ceramic trade was halted around the 15th c. Bodies ranged from more heavily potted clays to very finely crafted pieces. Glazes were mainly underglaze (iron brown or black) with some celadon glazes. Decoration was either delightfully freehand style or carefully incised.