Creating Modern Traditional Ceramics to Last

Creating Modern Traditional Ceramics to Last

Lively Ware is a brand of handmade ceramics.

Products last for a long time and can be handed down from generation to generation.

Using ceramics can also reduce the use of plastic containers.

With unique techniques and patterns, affordable prices, and practicality Lively Ware has won the hearts of customers across Asia.

“The concept behind the Lively Ware brand is the imperfection reflected through handmade porcelain ceramics that were once considered old-fashioned, but have now been revived with contemporary designs and a sense of Thainess,” says Kitt Kullayanapong, designer and owner of Lively Ware. 

The brand started from passion and fun, and has been in the market for about seven to eight years now. The thinking behind the design is to create practical stoneware while breaking common perceptions.

A former art student Kullayanapong learned to make ceramics and opened an art school becoming a ceramics teacher for more than ten years. He created various ceramics which he sold at flea markets receiving positive feedback from customers. 

“Every piece of ceramics is not 100% perfect, but they are like a living vessel as the name Lively Ware suggests,” he says. “We believe that the taste of hand made products is always better than the taste of those made by machines. It’s our way of showing the taste of handcrafts.”

Most of today’s ceramics are handcrafted, but are made to look like factory-made work. Many manufacturers still paint over the glaze which can contaminate the food with heavy metals, so Lively Ware chooses to paint first and then glaze. Even though this approach is harder and takes longer, but it is safer for users.

The patterns on all pieces are drawn by Kullayanapong himself. The brand’s blue-and-white ceramics reflect its identity. He is determined to create ceramic works that are practical for daily life, durable and can be handed down from generation to generation.

“We want to make something that people can use and keep for a long time,” he says. “Ceramics can stay with us for a very long time even longer than our lives. It is a worthy resource.”

Lively Ware’s most popular product is ‘Pinto’ or Thai traditional lunch box, a common household item that has been used for generations. Kullayanapong believes there is charm in traditional products as well as seeing the benefits of reducing the use of plastic containers. So, he designed a contemporary food container from ceramics and teak wood. The contemporary blue and white pattern appeals to both Thai and international customers, which is why Lively Ware has now produced more than 600 pieces. 

Apart from kitchenware, Lively Ware also has ceramic accessories such as buttons and earrings. 

“We look for things that people say can’t be made into ceramics,” Kullayanapong says. “Most people associate ceramics with plates, bowls, cups or mugs of any shape, but that’s not what we see.”

The brand has been marketed through both trade shows and online via its Facebook page. Kullayanapong also organises workshops for customers who are interested in pottery production. 

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Words by Natthinee Ratanaprasidhi

Photo courtesy of Lively Ware