Classic ceramics made modern at Cone Number 9
In this fast paced, technology-orientated society, revolving around the latest iPhone and newest Instagram filters, traditions and heritage can easily lose their value and often tend to be forgotten. With this in mind, it’s inspiring to see when younger generations pick up old crafts by realising their potential, and turn them into modern businesses. An example of one such young entrepreneur is Varamol ‘Mint’ Chun, who runs Cone Number 9, a small ceramics shop in Thonglor that sells beautifully handcrafted, and definitely Instagram-worthy, kitchenware.
Her first collection was a coffee and tea home-brewing set, consisting of mugs, coffee filters, and teapots. The shapes of her products are simple and unpretentious, reminiscent of the minimalistic style of Scandinavian pottery. Besides using different shades of blue, the main colour palate revolves around soft brown and green tones, inspired by local plants such as tamarind and teak. The flowing and uneven colouring of the ceramics not only gives every cup a special handcrafted effect, but also a beautiful, unique touch.The idea of designing her own ceramics was inspired while Mint was working as a barista. She noticed that most of the standard-sized coffee cups—needed for commercial use—were imported, and so she decided to start making her own. While Mint does all the designing in terms of shape and colour, the products are being produced at her aunt’s ceramic factory in Lampang. “I’m not a potter myself, but I understand the process,” Mint says, and explains that she visits the factory regularly to brief the potter there.
The location of Mint’s family’s business is no mere coincidence. Thanks to its large deposits of kaolin, highly heat resistant white clay, Lampang (a province in Northern Thailand) is one of the country’s foremost ceramic producing regions, and well known for its blue and white glazed pottery and distinctive five-colour Bencharong ware.
The process of producing a single piece of pottery—from moulding the clay, to firing it in the kiln, glazing the product, and firing it for a second time—takes around two to three weeks. It also takes a lot of skill and experience to get it just right. “The most exciting part is when you open the kiln and see how the colour turned out and if there are any cracks,” Mint says.
Mint recently launched her second collection; this time focussing on home bar equipment. Among the other items featured in the shop there are ceramic plates, as well as wooden chopping boards and coasters. While this dedicated designer mainly does wholesale, other retail outlets selling her beautiful collections include Siam Discovery’s ODS section, and the Gallery Coffee Drip Café (GF, Bangkok Art and Culture Centre). Recently she has also collaborated with local indigowear brand Kasa’ Maya at a new store at the River City shopping complex (1F, 23 Trok Rongnamkaeng, Yoda Rd).