Absurd Fox...Just do it and do it with all your might
“Just do it and do it with all your might.” A short sentence that Pottery Clay agrees! from Khun Nokwheat – Hiran Chaichana, a ceramic artist who owns the brandAbsurd Fox a ceramic brand that can be said to be a new member of the sculpting industry in Thailand because the age of this brand hasn’t reached 2 years old but their awesome sculptures may be comparable to the famous brands that have been around for a long time.
You don't need to have a degree in art in order to be good at sculpting
If anyone thinks Khun Nokwheat has an art degree that’s why her sculpture work is well known and accepted then you are wrong because the degree she held was far from art. Khun Nokwheat graduated from the Faculty of Business Administration with a major in hotel management from Assumption University
“After graduated, I didn’t work in the same area of my study but I went to work as an organizer for more than ten years in which my mother usually told me ‘to always be patient in working at the office’ but one day my mom saw that I was very stressed so she asked me if I wanted to resign and accompanied her. It was considered to be a turning point that made me thought about whom I was wasting my time for that I had no time for people who had been sacrificing their time for me throughout our lives. Therefore, I decided to resign and to work in my family business which was a small grocery store
“While working in my family business for almost a year I thought about how our life revolves in a loop at all time which was waking up early to open the shop to sell stuff then closed the shop. Why couldn’t I bring my past work experience to improve my business? So I started looking for aworkshop in order to learn to find myself. At that time, there were classes in oil painting, watercolor and ceramic sculpture. However, I thought that the ready-made art should also be able to use in daily life as well so I started focusing on learning how to make ceramics. While researching I stumbled upon the porcelain. My family has accumulated some Benjarong workpieces and I also received a ceramic glass as a gift when I was working in the office. It was not only beautiful but also functional. The key point was it lasted a long time so I started to search for information about where I could find sculpting classes and I found them at "Chamroen Studio". The owner made me felt relaxed and taught me not to compare with others. After completing the course there I didn’t stop learning and went to study again at “Bang Sai Royal Folk Arts and Crafts Center”
Because I know someone who has a friend studying sculpture at Bang Sai Royal Folk Arts and Crafts Center therefore, I was advised to enrol there. However, learning to make sculptures there requires a lot of dedication and one year worth of studying according to the curriculum but Khun Nokwheat was not afraid.
“To study at Bang Sai Royal Folk Arts and Crafts Center, there was a rule that I had to study and stay there with only a break on Mondays. I knew the conditions and told my mother that I wanted to go to school and that I had to stay there. My mother did not object. She probably began to think that her daughter had an artistic mind so she let me go to school. While I was studying I followed the general teaching process but I noticed that when I had to sculpt by following the exact measurement proportions. I felt much stressed. However when the teacher let me did it freestyle it turned out that I could complete the work in less than an hour. Also, the teacher said that my workpiece didn’t need to be colored much because it looked sweet in itself. I used that feedback as a guideline to me that my work was a sweet line of work.
“The teacher suggested that if I continued studying for 6 months, I would receive a certificate but I felt having a certificate didn’t demonstrate anything so I talked to the teachers at the department about learning just what I needed for 4 month only because my idea was that only by start creating a workpiece to demonstrate my craftsmanship that is acceptable is a proof of how far my work can go.”
Crooked work,sweet work is my way to go
Many people may be familiar with balanced proportions of ceramics which are symmetrical throughout the workpiece. However, Khun Nokwheat’s work is not like that. The highlight of her work is the flow of her work that comes from the feeling inside and becomes the identity of her work under the Absurd Fox brand.
“After I finished my studies at Bang Sai, it was at the time my sister wanted a ceramic workpiece with marble pattern for her bakery shop which was opened in Nakhon Pathom Province so I asked the teacher how to create the marble pattern. Then I tried to do it myself based on my teacher’s advice. Since blue was the color I liked after making it I felt it was beautiful so I had kept on making it. From my past work experience I could see the point when it can be sold and the precision of work. Since then it has already become the identity of my work.
“My work is different from others that it is ‘Crooked work’ Normally after firing if the workpiece is twisted or distorted, it cannot be sold but since I used to work in a line of AE (Account Executive) before, I knew that this one could be sold because it still had its shape. Its oddness was the selling point in the work itself because it was crooked but still balanced in itself.
“Using the name Absurd Fox because when I was studying moral subject in the university’ there was a word Absurd which the teacher explained in depth and I really liked this word. It was a word that indicated what my personality really was. Then by adding the word Fox which came from when I was studying at Bang Sai my buddy used to made a joke by calling herself a venomous snake and saying that I was a fox so this was how the brand name was born.”
Good raw materials help to streamline the work
One thing that Khun Nokwheat emphasized a lot when creating a workpiece was about the raw materials used. Being a person who was not good at chemicals and focused on ease of use, flexibility therefore she chose to buy all the materials from a single brand.
“When I first start sculpting I used one brand of clay that came in a large bag of 50 kilograms. Later someone recommended a company called Pottery Clay which was a one stop service shop that sold pottery clay and all related accessories and it was also near my house so I went to have a look and bought clay from them. When I opened the bag I felt good because the clay there was divided into cubes, 5 kg each which made it easy to use as you didn’t have to be too tired from having to cut it yourself and the texture of clay was in good quality. I had bought all type of clay that they had such asCelaton, Snow White, Roller Stone All of which were good. Since then, I have been buying clay from them.
“Moreover, I went to look at other products and found colours which was our weak point because I was not good at mixing chemicals so I wanted ready-made colours that had a variety of shades. It appeared that Pottery Clay had an answer for this. There were many colours to choose from. They were ready-made colours that were easy to use with many options. to choose from. Since then I have never had to buy from anywhere else because this place was a One Stop Service for sculpting work. If my mother had heard about Pottery Clay before she bought a kiln for me, she would have bought it from here.”
Absurd Fox International recognized brand
One of the prides that Khun Nokwheat told us was that all of her customers who contacted her and wanted to exhibit her work or made orders with her came to her all by themselves. One of them was a Japanese restaurant called Masa- Otaru Masazushi It was a sushi restaurant whose owner used to be the 4th sushi chef in the world and was third a heir of the family that has been making sushi for almost 100 years
“We were very fortunate to have clients who viewed our work as art and not just as a common dish or container. Our omakase sushi plate with mable pattern was the main dish and the signature of the restaurant. Also, the chopstick holder, cups for ginger and lotus root including the hand towels used inside the restaurant were all our work. A black wave was our new pattern that they bought and used in their Tokyo branch in Japan. In addition, our work was also 1 of 3 products that Banyan Tree Hotel (Thailand) had selected and sold them in theirBanyan Tree Gallery too
“No matter how successful we are, we have also received some negative reviews. For example, some young people who may have completed the study in this field came to see our work and said that all of our workpieces were burned according to what he was taught at school. We told him that even though our workpieces was burned we still managed to sell them. All of our items were sold out so I want that person to understand by looking from many angles and be able to bring outstanding points to present. There is no absolute right or wrong. As for the glazing, we admit that we are not quite good at it but in regards to the shape we are confident that no one defeats us.
“Personally, I feel that the heart of sculpture is sculpting and the view of beauty depends on each person. When someone criticizes us we listen and think accordingly in order to always improve ourselves because the advantage of being criticized is that we have a mirror that reflects what we may not see. However, we have to know how to choose the right mirror to reflect it.”
For those who have never learned the basics of sculpting before and would like to try doing it. Khun Nokwheat would like to conclude that “Just do it and just by doing it and doing it with all your might. Art work doesn't require a lot of thinking because artwork just needs to look beautiful and that's it. Action is equal to having started it. By start doing it and allowing your experiences to teach you.”
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