Thai ceramics were among the first Southeast Asian wares to be seriously studied, starting with WA Graham’s 1922 article “Pottery in Siam” in the Journal of the Siam Society. The field only gained momentum in the 1960s following Charles Nelson Spinks’ important contributions on Tai pottery and in the 1970s from the discovery of the Prasat Ban Phluang temple site.
The Kalong kilns were discovered in 1933, but still unstudied in 1977 when Brown wrote her Master of Arts thesis on the Ceramics of South-East Asia: Their Dating and Identification.
A common characteristic of the Kalong kilns is their “fine-grained whitish body, the clay source of which may have been one reason for the location of the kilns” and the reason for the high quality of the Kalong ware, which considered by many to be the finest of all Thai ceramics. The wares are finely potted throughout and another feature is that they generally have wide bases. (Brown 1988: 84-86)
|Kalong is best known for its underglaze black motifs, though potters there also made monochromes of celadon, black, brown and even green lead-glaze. This bowl with an underglaze black decoration shows a dark brown design of abstract birds or bats, sometimes known as the “black crow” design.
H: 5 cm, D: 21 cm
|Brown identifies a monochrome unique to Kalong, called the “rain-cloud grey” which is a translucent greyish tinted glaze (Brown 1988: 86). This jarlet with ring handles is an exceptional specimen showing this “rain-cloud grey” lead glaze.
H: 12.5 cm, D: 10 cm