ประวัติสมาคมเครื่องปั้น

Ceramic Industry in Lampang 
Lampang is famous throughout the country for its coal mine, horse-drawn carriages, high quality ceramic products, the beautiful historic Phrathat temple, and the elephant conservation. Of all these resources, the phrase ‘high quality ceramic products’ is a clear praise to the remarkable skills of its people that have walked this land from ancient times.
The long age of Lampang is reflected through its various names that have changed through times, namely Sridonchai, Lampakampankorn, and Kukutanakorn. The last, literally translated the city of chicken, came from a local lore that might dates back to the times when Lord Buddha walked the earth and visited this area. Indra, the almighty, is worried that the local people are not aware of his early arrival and therefore do not prepare foods to give alms. Therefore, he transformed himself into a white rooster to wake up the townsfolk, just in time for the Lord’s arrival. Hence the city was thereafter named Kukutanakorn, which means the city of the white rooster that are now familiar as the town’s mascot. Everywhere in Lampang one can see image of roosters on the bridge, the roads, all the important places, and even on several ceramic tablewares that are Lampang’s major export product.

The beginning of ceramics industry in Lampang 
Mr. Xim Yu (founder of the presently Thanabordeesakul Factory), a Chinese expat from Daibu city of Fujian province, which is famous for producing bowls and plates, found a knife stone in use by Jaehom County. It appeared to contain a certain ore called kaolin. Mr Xim Yu therefore invited his friends Mr. Eur Xie Yu (founder of the presently Thaimitr Factory) and Mr. Kuo Xiukim (founder of the presently Kodcharncharoen Factory) to start searching the origin of kaolin ore. With extra financial support from Mr. Thawee Pholcharoen, together they rode bicycles and sought for the source of the ore. Finally it was found during the year of 1955-1956 at the location on Lampang-Jaehom Road (between 26th -27th kilometer) in Banpangka of Jaehom County.
Afterward, several carts were hired to transport kaolin to the factory of Mr. Prayoon Phamornsiri and Mr. Xim Yu for a trial production of bowls and plates. Meanwhile, Mr. Xim Yu, Mr. Xie Yu, Mr. Xiukim and Mr. Tan Ximen (founder of the presently Charoenmueng Factory) received an investment of about 20,000 Baht from a tailor named Liao Xinmin, to co-found the first ceramics factory in Lampang Province in 1957. The factory was named “Ruamsamakkee Factory” and was located in Pakham Village, Muang, Lampang. It utilized the basic principles and skilled labors that had worked in the bowl and plate factory of Mr. Thawee Pholcharoen (based in Wongwienyai area, Bangkok).
Ceramic tableware at that time was produced in long Gobi style dragon kiln, which has a long chamber full of shelves. Wood fuels were used, with burning temperature at 1,260 degree Celsius. The material was coated with chaff ash before being sintered. Then, rooster drawings were painted on the coated surface, and the tableware would be burned again in the round kiln at 750 degree Celsius. Original products were 6" and 7" rooster bowls and yihai bowls. For three years in production, Mr. Xinmin succumbed to the overwhelming problems and therefore sold the enterprise to “Sathienraphab Factory”. Other shareholders went on separated ways to work on their own factories for the rest of their lives.

Ceramics Factory during the first period

From 1959 to 1962, a group of immigrants from China’s Daibu city came to Lampang to set up factories producing rooster tableware. Among the first was Lampang tableware Factory, founded by Mr. Thawee Pholcharoen and his associates. He later quit to set up a factory of his own named “Thaweephol Factory”, introducing an imported rectangular-shaped kiln in 1962. This factory became the first to produce electric insulator in Thailand.

During 1962 – 1967, Chinese expats in Thailand flocked to set up tableware factories in Lampang, using primarily dragon kilns, rectangular shaped kilns, and tunnel kilns. However, these factories were rather unsuccessful due to their lack of comprehension about materials, outdated production technology and therefore yielding much material waste, unstable production quality and therefore low selling prices, and marketing channels being restricted to local and Bangkok areas.

During 1967 – 1969, Department of Science took notice in Lampang ceramics, and arranged a tableware competition at Bunyawat Temple, as well as supported small-sized industry through provision of investment consultation, organizing seminars or overseas study trips to further development of ceramic industry.

An establishment of the Ceramic Club

In 1973, the Ceramics Club was set up in Lampang by Mr. Charn Limpaiboon (owner of the presently Thaicharoen Factory) in order to establish standard pricing for rooster bowls and collaborate against price-cutting competition. (Unit price for rooster bowls successfully went up from 58 satang to 1.10 baht.) During the initial phase of the Lampang Ceramic Club, there were 18 members, which included all the factories in Lampang area; Mr. Suwat Tengsakul (Lampang Sathienraphab Factory) was the first chairperson.
During its active years, Lampang Ceramics Club operated with an aim to promote unity among its increasing members, and played a leading role in promoting the development of ceramic industry. This continues on even after the club later became Lampang Ceramics Association, by the support of the public sector. Mr. Nitassana Kittirojchana of Kittiroj Factory was the Club’s last chairperson.
The year 1976 saw the rapid growth of ceramics industry in Lampang, where increasing number of factories sprung up. Wood fuels were soon replaced with LPG gas (shuttle kiln), most particularly in Seangarun Factory and Kittiroj Factory, the later of which was operated by Taiwanese skilled labors. This technique was later improved and was extensively adopted by most factories, resulting in the improvement of product quality, fuel saving, and reduction of pollution and waste. Lampang ceramics thereafter became famous with products such as blue & white cloisonné enamel exports to the foreign market.
 Lampang Ceramic Club pooled its members’ purchase of gas (more than 2,000 barrels per week) in 1983, successfully reducing 10% in price for more than 2,000 barrels of cooking gas. Another achievement is negotiating the price of plaster that member factories use to make mold.

Lampang Ceramics Association

                Lampang Ceramics Association was later founded in the year 1989, with Mr. Suwit Naphawan (of Indra Ceramics Co., Ltd.) being the first chairman. Its primary objective was to interface with the relevant government agencies, as well as to coordinate with members. The association also played a role in serving its members by pooling material purchase at wholesale prices, such as to purchase LPG gas and plaster from respective producers at lower prices and therefore helped reducing production cost.

1.    Lampang Ceramic Fair Lampang Ceramic Association, in cooperation with Lampang provincial administration, has organized the Lampang Ceramic Fair, showcasing products from factories and selling them at low prices. This is an annual event, usually held from December 2 to December 12, and has been ongoing for 17 times up to now. At present, Lampang Ceramic Fair is considered a national fair that attracts both local and foreign visitors, and has generated considerable income to Lampang province.

2. Development of Lampang Ceramic Cluster As the ceramic industry in Lampang has enjoyed continuous growth, several ceramic-related networks had evolved. Eventually there rose an initiative to unite these networks to increase competitiveness against foreign business rivals. (Lampang ceramic industries had prior collaboration, albeit inefficient.) Therefore the Lampang Ceramic Cluster project was developed and carried out.  
Lampang Ceramic can be regarded as the one of the most advanced industrial clusters working under the collaborative framework to build up competitiveness.
3. Product Exhibition Lampang Ceramic Association has cooperated with Department of Export Promotion (DEP) for its presence under the association name in various trade fairs. Beside being featured in exhibition showcasing collective products from its several members, the association also invites individual members to join them in the exhibitions, most notably the annual Bangkok International Gift. 
Thanks to the mutual dedication of the association members, the Lampang ceramic industry has continued to grow and developed, in terms of technological advancement, local and foreign market expansion, and generating more income and more job opportunities for the local people every year.  
It is also found that, ceramic industry in Lampang has generated national income of more than 3,000 million baht per year. This figure has shown the public the important role of Lampang Ceramic Association as a strong private organization in uniting its members to achieve much success.