The 15th annual Nimmanhaemin Art and Design Promenade (NAP) was held December 5 – 10th, 2014 in Chiang Mai. Despite the fair’s acronym, it’s not a snooze: over 70 booths, food vendors, and live music created a vibrant event which is a perfect showcase for makers from this laid-back, creative city in Thailand’s mountainous northern region.
The Kindcraft has selected the 19 inspiring artists with handmade product to share. From ethnic traditional arts to contemporary craft, see how these Thai makers are using traditional techniques and a mix of natural and upcycled materials to make something new.
3.2.6. Studio is a Chiang Mai based creative studio founded by Chavatpol Boonsiri. The Thai artist sells handmade goods and “other experimental things” featuring his signature wooden lamps and ceramics.
Apostrophe X & P.S.
Akira Siriwattananukul of Apostrophe X and Pilynn Siriphanich of P.S. shared a booth at this edition of NAP Fair. These friends studied in Milan, Italy together and returned to Thailand to create their own jewelry lines. Pilynn Siriphanich calls herself a part-time jeweler and a full-time traveler.
BooKoo Studio is the work of Nattawut Rukprasit, an artist who likes to highlight the natural state of materials and use tradition techniques to create modern craft. Nattawut is also the designer of one of The Kindcraft’s favorite places in town – Ban Kang Wat, an artist community of handmade shops and space to gather.
Chachaa means slow pace. The Chiang Mai-based company uses ethnic traditional dress and materials – like the woven textiles of the Karen people – to create their collection of needle crafts on traditional & naturally dyed textiles.
The Kindcraft loved the spirit and colorful ceramics by Fong and Ham. The pair create handmade ceramics in their Bangkok-based studio Ce’Halo.
Together with painter Joong-Jing, Clayday presented ceramic sculpture art by Nupol Wiriyawong (Dam) who uses the raku firing technique. Read more about raku in the Kindcraft feature The Process: Raku.
Cotton Chic by Huanfai Daingam is a Chiang Mai cotton producer showing indigo dyed product at NAP Fair. Practitioners of the regional age-old dyeing technique are smart to share their craft in the midst of the international indigo trend. To learn more about indigo, read The Kindcraft’s feature on The Process: Indigo from Plant to Paste.
Kongkalp Wiriyalampa is the Design Director at Elementseden Design Studio, a Bangkok-based studio featuring hand-carved Thai teak wood letters and shapes. While wood carving is an age-old craft in Thailand, the brand’s tagline – the intertwining of non-traditionalism – signals a deliberate move towards contemporary craft.
Hill Tribe Indigo Batik
Indigo batik is a traditional art of the Hmong ethnic group. Through their work, the founders of Hill Tribe Indigo Batik, Ampai Maneewan (Noi) and Simone Buys, aim to support a Hmong hill tribe women artisans community in Northern Thailand. Learn more about Hmong batik in this feature by The Kindcraft.
Master potter Jirawong Wongtrangan of InClay Studio creates hand-thrown functional and decorative ceramic pieces using his own natural glazes. The Kindcraft visits InClay’s peaceful Chiang Mai studio regularly, and can confirm that Jirawong is a very kind and patient teacher!
Jibberish is a collection on “homemade zakka & other gibberish things” founded in 2011. The word zakka is a design term – and the Japanese word meaning many things – used throughout Asia to refer to cute lifestyle products and contemporary handicrafts.
Kitchy ceramics handbuit and raku fired by Kaikaew from Phayao, in Northeastern Thailand. The Kindcraft was pleased to see American comfort food on display next to Thai street food vendors, even if the life-like burger and fries could only be admired.
Together with Olarn Plubplon, an artist called Ploy creates Kasploy – a collection of handmade accessories featuring printmaking, woodcut prints, and painting on fashion fabrics, leather, and nylon.
Nakari & Tanner Heart
Nakari watches are handcrafted in Bangkok using maple, beech, cherry and walnut wood by Peeravat Taraksa and Apirak Buranajade. Also on display were smart wooden sunglasses by Woodhours and leather accessories sewn with Japanese styling by Tanner Heart, also of Bangkok.
PaChaNa is the work of ceramist Komol Kongcharoen who has a studio and shop in Chiang Mai, where he is part of an active art and ceramics scene.
Recycled rubber from tires, inner tubes, and other materials create Rubber Killer’s product range of backpacks, totes, and accessories. The designer and founder, Saroengrong Wongsavun, launched his successful Chiang Mai based brand at NAP in 2010, and has since developed a line of bags for the Thai clothing brand Greyhound.
Spoiled Rotten by Patcha
Patcha Kitchaicharoen (Praew) is a Bangkok-based photographer and artist creating a range of leather camera straps, bags, and luggage tags called Spoiled Rotten, which she was customizing on-site at NAP Fair.
When she’s not in her home country of Thailand, Tan Jiwanuwong travels to inspiring places like India where she spends several months sourcing products and materials. Her colorful booth stood out at NAP Fair, and The Kindcraft loved the eclectic feel.
Walk on the Wild Side
The couple behind Walk on the Wild Side uses natural plant fiber materials such as cotton, linen, and hemp and hand dyes everything using natural indigo, ebony, mango, and mud. Narawat Chaichompoo and Zazima Asavesna work in nature from Sakon Nakhon, Thailand near Laos.