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Furniture design

Host & Home designers make the most out of materials made in Thailand

Our three-part series continues with one of Thai’s top ceramics manufacturers, Prempracha, and furniture makers Masaya, Moonler, and Performax, whose mastery of materials includes bamboo, wood and brass.

At this year’s Salone del Mobile, the Host & Home showcase will present some of Thailand’s most talented entrepreneurs and designers whilst offering a wide range of new products for the European market.

Focusing on sustainability, the exhibition will highlight Thai furniture and decorative products whilst supporting their development and promoting a good national image of Thai design.

A total of 11 brands have been chosen for their handmade products, which showcase high standards of production and the finest materials.

Intrigued by the craft and expertise of these exhibitors, we decided to explore their work in a series of mini-interviews, underlining their eco-friendly approach and introducing their work to you, including shining a spotlight on Thailand’s regional crafts with our first look at Thai furniture manufacturers Deesawat, Kun Decorate, Kenkoon and Thaniya1988.

Below, this series starts with Prempracha, one of Thailand’s top ceramics manufacturers whose unique style evolves around the concept of “East meets West”, using local clay to create stunning pieces.

Then, it continues with a little look into Thai furniture makers Masaya, Moonler, and Performax, whose eco-sustainable approach starts with a smart selection of eco-materials and the skilled hands of an artisan. 

Prempracha

Tell us about your core product? What defines your brand?

Prempracha has been a producer of finest handmade ceramics crafted by talented local artisans for more than 30 years.

We mix hints of Asian characteristics with Western functionality, translating current trends into ceramic goods that serve customers all over the world. 

© Prempracha

Recognized as one of the top ceramics manufacturers in Thailand, Prempracha intends to showcase the premium quality of Thai ceramics with a universally appealing design.

Since its establishment in 1986, Prempracha has never ceased to develop design processes and techniques to make fine handmade stoneware.

Tell us about your team and how this contributes to your brand vision?

Our factory consists of about 150 employees of which about 120 of them are local artisans. San Kampang district, our location, has always been known for craftsmanship as there are umbrellas making centers and Saa paper makers.

For more than 30 years, we have acquired artisans that have the skills and help them to pass down those skills to the younger generations.

Prempracha _ Thai Furniture _ Host & Home _ MIlan Design Week 2022
© Prempracha

Can you describe the strengths of your manufacturing process with mention of particular techniques and machinery if any? 

Our products are 100% handmade with many unique details that define who we are.

We feature both mould making and hand forming sections, unsurpassed glazing technologies as well as hand carving and hand-painting techniques. 

What do you think Thailand has to offer the rest of the world in terms of forward-thinking innovation but also tradition when it comes to design practices? 

Our tradition in craftsmanship focuses on fine details and beauty.

With this in mind and new technologies, we are able to come up with new designs and innovations that answer modern day needs but with the beauty of Asia. 

Prempracha _ Thai Furniture _ Host & Home _ Milan Design Week 2022 2
© Prempracha

Masaya

How do Thai craftsmanship and design influence your practice?

We specialise in the lost wax casting method, the same method that was used to cast buddha figurines in Thailand over centuries.

This method has a specific style to them and similar to other techniques, it has its limitations.

Working with this technique for over 30 years, we have been able to understand and learn the capacity, ability and limitations of the lost wax method and use those to strengthen our products through our design. 

Masaya _ Thai Furniture _ Host & Home _ MIlan Design Week 2022
© Masaya

Tell us a little bit about the process…

The first step involves sculpting the wax. Then molten wax is brushed over the silicon for the candle to take the shape of the mould.

These have to be the precise thickness, not too thin because then we would not be able to work on the details, and not too thick because it would be too heavy. 

Next, is the pouring of the brass. Our foundry has 2 heavy duty melting furnaces that can withdraw temperatures up to 1000c in order to molten the brass.

They are also big enough for us to liquify 3-5 tons of brass per casting session.

Before pouring the molten brass into the prepared cast we have to make sure that the wax is completely dried or else it may explode. 

Another expertise needed for our foundry that is crucial in our production line is welding, we cast pieces in sections and each section would have to be welded together to make a piece.

The welder is crucial in making the final piece sturdy.

Masaya _ Thai Furniture _ Host & Home _ MIlan Design Week 2022 2
© Masaya

What does it mean to you to be part of the Host & Home exhibition during Salone del Mobile? 

Salone Del Mobile is one of the leading shows in the world, we all know that it is fairly difficult to be accepted to exhibit. Moreover, the show has big mighty brands that are well known.

To be able to be a part of Host and Home which enables us to exhibit at Salone Del Mobile is an honour as well as a great opportunity for us to be up there amongst the big brands.

© Masaya

Moonler

Tell us about the Moonler brand and how Thai craftsmanship and design influence your practice?

Moonler is a contemporary furniture designing brand, under Moonler Collection Co., Ltd., a renowned manufacturer and exporter of premium quality Chamchuri wood furniture.

The company is situated in the woodland mountainous area of Doi Saket, Chiang Mai, Thailand and was founded in 2008 by engineer Phuwanat Damrongporn and artist Sarawut Sakthamcharoen, who through their passion about the local craftsmanship have interpreted precious wisdom and presented it to the wider world.

Over a decade, a modest workshop with a handful of craft people has expanded into a much wider workspace with high-performance tools and machines dealing with heat treatment, woodwork, metalwork, eco-friendly paintwork, and a showroom.

Moonler _ Thai Furniture _ Host & Home _ MIlan Design Week 2022 _ Darakorn Shelf - image by Nontarat Hasitapong
© Moonler

Collaboration with local and international designers continues to enhance the furniture crafted by exceptional Thai craftspeople.

Based on the concept of “Timeless wisdom, to uplift your life and spirit”, we commit to promoting the local community’s occupations, wood crafting culture, and income.

Through our work, the disappearing traditional crafts are restored and brought back to be a meaningful part of our daily life.

Which areas are you focusing on in items of eco-friendly design and sustainable materials?

These days, sustainability is fundamental in design ethos.

Sustainable designs are about social responsibility where the role of design is not only to manufacture meaningful products to satisfy customers, but also to create positive impacts to the Earth.  

At Moonler, we value integrity and commitment to sustainability: transparency in sourcing of raw materials, manufacture that is conscious of minimising wastes and air pollution, while improving craftsmen’s wellbeing.

© Moonler

It is our mission to build trust among our staff, before extending to customers who share similar values.

We will never lower our standards, but instead, seek to improve and adjust to face the happening New Normal. We aim strongly to create positive impacts for the future of young generations.

Can you describe the strength of your manufacturing process with mention of particular techniques and machinery if any?

We define our work as “Industrial Craft” which means we create our work with artisan skills together with machine tools.

We can control our quality as we start from the very first process, like selecting the wood log, slicing and kiln-drying, ourselves.

We have a high technology kiln which can control the moisture level of wood to be right for production. 

Moonler’s craft people highly value the wood’s worthiness, hence, the attempt to minimize waste.

Prime-quality materials are crafted using both hand and machine tools, with intention to bring forth unparalleled-quality furniture to customers.

In a way, this is how artists fill the empty canvas with meaningful arts. 

Moonler _ Thai Furniture _ Host & Home _ MIlan Design Week 2022 _ Salmon Bench - image by Nontarat Hasitapong (1)
© Moonler

What do you think Thailand has to offer the rest of the world in terms of forward-thinking innovation but also tradition when it comes to design practices?

We believe that in a world where modern industry has strong influence in almost every aspect of life, recognizing our roots and identity makes our work an inseparable part of our lifestyle, and will continue despite the test of time.    

Performax

Tell us about your core product: What defines your brand?

Performax offers creative designs crafted from water hyacinth and bamboo, winning the heart of many designers as an ideal material for furniture upholstery.

Physically, its durable spongy texture provides a comfortable touch whilst visually, its look renders a warm natural ambience.

© Performax

How does Thai craftsmanship and design influence your practice?

The strength of Thai design is shown through the creativity and the art of handicraft by master craftsmen.

Performax introduces the subtle sense of local knowledge and Thai culture in every design object to narrate the story of authentic Thai through home decorative furniture.

Performax promise to our design appreciators is to deliver the sense of modern Thai design with the quality of our finest material and detailed Thai craftsmanship.

Creative collaboration of designers and trusted crafters, guaranteed with international export and design awards; Thailand’s DEmark, Japan’s G-mark and our proud achievement of Thailand Trust Mark and Thailand Prime Minister’s Export Award.

© Performax

Which areas are you focusing on in terms of eco-friendly design and sustainable materials?

Founded in 1995, Performax has achieved the blending of elegant design with water hyacinth’s and bamboo sensual features into home furniture.

Seamlessly integrated forms with functionalities through creativities, researches, experiments, and refinements.

On manufacturing while works on wood and other components are carried out by machinery tools for their uniformity and preciseness, weaving of water hyacinth on each piece of the furniture is individually hand-woven by on site craftsmen under tight quality control.

What does it mean to you to be part of the Host & Home exhibition during Salone del Mobile?

Host & Home is our honour stage in the Salone del Mobile where the eyes of the world are catching.

New design, new creative idea is intended to launch officially at Host & Home.

Proud to be one of the accomplishments of H&H and ready to kick start the new things.

© Performax

Ahead of Milan Design Week and Salone del Mobile, the Host & Home project continues to develop entrepreneurship across Thailand, including branding workshops with experts in the field.

Stay tuned as we explore how this opportunity has helped other designers included in the Host & Home exhibition in the coming weeks.

The Host & Home showcase was launched by the Office of Lifestyle Trade Promotion and Thai Trade Center Milan, Department of International Trade Promotion (DITP), Ministry of Commerce Thailand with the aim of creating new opportunities for Thai designers and manufacturers.

The showcase will take place during Salone del Mobile 2022 on the corner at Hall 8/B37 during Salone del Mobile from 7-12 June, 2022. To find out more about the showcase visit its website.

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