Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The History of Benjarong Porcelain

The Benjarong is a traditional form of Thai porcelain. The style of multi-colored enamels on a white porcelain base came from Ming dynasty China. The name “Benjarong” was derived from Bali and Sanskrit words Benja and Rong, meaning literally “Five Colors”. “Five Colors” really means “many colors” because the hand-painted pieces are usually decorated in three, five, eight colors, or even more.
Benjarong porcelain can be easily recognized by distinctive design features:

. The decoration is densely painted and very delicately detailed. Most patterns are symmetrical base on geometrical designs.

· Benjarong wares were enameled with relief glaze, emphasizing the background color, while the Chinese wares were thinly painted and never emphasize background color.

· Dazzling attractiveness be used of lavish gold.
Patterns include traditional Thai motifs, such as flora, plant and flame designs, as well as cultural symbols, such as The Garuda (the half-man half-bird mount of the god Vishnu and a symbol of Thai royalty), the emblem of the Thai kings


In the 13th – 18th century, Benjarong porcelain was exclusively made for the royal court. Later its use extended to aristocrats and wealthy merchants; today people of all nationalities use Benjarong for formal ware.


Benjarong bowl with craved pumpkin at Erawan by chef Korn


Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Legend of Thai Celadon

The Legend of Thai CeladonGoes back more than two thousand years in time. Celadon is known as the aristocratic Oriental ancestor of the pottery family and takes its name from the elegant glaze developed by the master potters of China to duplicate their beloved jade. This exquisitely glazed Celadon was known only to the Far East until the 9th century A.D. when a few pieces found their way to Europe to be displayed with the most priceless treasures on the continent.
Later on, the stoneware that arrived in the Near East was credited with miraculous powers. In this ever turbulent part of the world where violence was a part of daily life, it was believed that poisoned food would change color when it was served on Celadon…and the demand was tremendous!


Although these costly high-fired pieces were sought after for several hundred years or so, they eventually were forced off the market by the cheap-to-produce earthen wares from the Middle East and the imitation porcelains from Europe. The great stoneware traditions of China began to die out…and by the 16th century, Celadon had become a rare and precious prize to the Europeans who traded directly with the Orient.
Long before this happened, however, a King of Siam visited China and brought back some 300 potters. Kilns were established and from them emerged the fabulous Siamese Celadons that were known as “ Sankaloke ” . For several generations large quantities of “Sankaloke “ were shipped to the Philippine islands, Borneo, India, Persia, and Egypt. But the kilns of Siam had to be abandoned, too…at about the time that the potters of China were destined to give up their craft. For some 600 years not a single piece of the famous Celadon stoneware was produced.

Until half a century ago this ancient art was revived in Thailand…with a duplication of the old, old methods using the same raw materials. All of the elements needed for this stoneware are from the earth and the jungles…and each piece is finished by hand making Thai Celadon a truly unique work of art.


Celadon at Erawan classic Thai & Fusion


Sunday, March 22, 2009

What? is Erawan mean

The Elephant God, ErawanThis god is known as Airavata or Airawana in Sanskrit, as Erawana in Bali and as Airapot, Airawat or Erawan in Thai. All of these names refer to the action of rain clouds and lightning that results in rain, sent down by the god Indra as he rides the elephant god Erawan across the heavens.
According to Aryan legends, the god Erawan is huge, white and has 33 heads. Each head bears seven tusks. For each tusk there are seven lotus ponds. Each pond has seven lotus pads, each pad has seven lotus blossoms and each blossom has seven petals. On each petal dance seven angels. Each angel has seven ladies-in-waiting. So altogether the god Erawan has 33 heads, 231 tusks, 1,617 ponds, 11,319 lotus pads, 79,233 lotus blossoms, 554,631 lotus petals, 3,882,417 angels, and 27,176,919 ladies-in-waiting.

Our main image of Erawan classic Thai & Fusion

The main duty of Erawan, the elephant god is to serve as Indra’s mount in his travels to different locations in the heavens and on earth, where he observes the varying fortunes of mankind. Erawan is, in particular, associated with the east and the sun’s care for that part of the world. Erawan also serves as Indra’s war elephant in his battles with the demons. Indra, being the chief of the gods and responsible for the world’s weather, uses the lightning bolt as his weapon to fight drought and bring the blessings of rainfall to the world of men. Erawan is thus assigned the task of drawing up moisture from the earth to the sky, whence Indra returns it to the earth in the form of rain. The people of South and S outheast Asia have long had a special regard for the god Erawan due to this life-giving benevolence.

As the beloved companion of Indra, the god Erawan is considered to be the lord of all elephants in the universe. He is, moreover, taken to be a symbol of Indra himself, of virtuous action, and of prosperity. For artistic reasons, he is usually portrayed with only three heads, rather than the 33 heads in the myth.

One of the legends concerning Erawan holds that Lord Shiva gave him as a gift to Indra, and that Erawan was originally a god stationed in the Dao-wa-Deaung heaven. Wherever Indra went, Erawan would follow in the guise of a white elephant. Another story is that Makamanop employed this elephant in building a pavilion on earth. When the elephant died, it was reborn as a god in the shape of an elephant, and then taken by Indra to serve as his mount.

Not only is Erawan, the lord of all elephants and the most powerful, he is said to be as large as a mountain of Indian mythology. So brilliantly white is Erawan that he makes Mount Kailasa , made entirely of silver, look dark by comparison. In the Mahabharata, it is said that “The god Airavata has four tusks and three trunks. He is great in size, and pearly white.”

Translated from the Erawan Elephant Museum and the faith of its maker, Erawan Museum , Samutprakarn Thailand.