ICONSIAM has officially unveiled ICONCRAFT, a hub for design and craftsmanship, that appeals to a younger generation of creatives.
Bangkok city dwellers now have even more reason to head over to the riverside, as ICONSIAM officially introduces ICONCRAFT. Created as an inspirational platform for Thai craftsmanship, the ICONCRAFT can be found at both ICONSIAM and Siam Discovery, and serves as a hub for design and handicraft, appealing to a younger generation of cultural, suave creatives. Here, Thai creativity and wisdom is presented through new perspectives, celebrating the stories of Thai craftsmen, while supporting the local community.
Not only is there an impressive selection of over 500 brands, but visitors can also engage in hands-on workshops, or marvel at the installations in the various spaces. In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, ICONCRAFT has also joined hands with Kasikorn bank, to offer support to small businesses and local entrepreneurs, through various channels of support including investment funding, knowledge, and distribution channels. We visited the ICONCRAFT zone in ICONSIAM for our take on the overall experience — here we’ve rounded up some of our favourite highlights, in a list of brand’s you’re sure to obsess over.
V By Sritavie
With over 40 years of experience, Sritavie is reputed for offering an excellent expression of Thai handmade jewellery. Drawing from the traditional art of jewellery-making found in antiques, products from the brand are characterised by a charming uniqueness that is at once simple, and incredibly nuanced. Collections here have been especially created to be wearable in day-to-day life, while also maintaining the brand’s identity, and reflecting the evolution of Thai modern jewellery.
A jewellery brand founded by three designers, TrimodeC began as a simple design studio, born out of an opportunity to develop merchandise with various rural communities. Once the three founders had developed products with these local craftsmen, they felt that it would be a waste if they could not continue their efforts in promoting local crafts. From there, the trio decided to continue pushing local handiwork and craftsmanship, leading to a jewellery brand that truly aims to offer a stage for creative Thai communities.
Angsa offers handmade jewellery that has been meticulously created, using local wisdom that has been passed down for over 50 years. The brand is especially known for a specific technique — an art form referred to as ‘Payatlai’ — where two silver or gold threads are delicately intertwined into a mould, resulting in exquisitely detailed accessories. A technique dating back to the 18th century, Angsa is among one of the rare brands to have preserved such unique knowledge, for a collection of jewellery pieces that are at once three-dimensional, intricate, and filled with stories.
Inspired by a love and passion for the arts, Doting offers a new take on furniture, by providing innovative masterpieces that offer strong aesthetic codes and high functionality, to brighten up each and every home space. Underlined by a unique identity, and created using techniques found in traditional Thai craftsmanship, each of the designs helps to incorporate an appreciation of artwork into daily life.
Coffee lovers, this one’s for you. A community of social entrepreneurs, Akha Ama is committed to growing, roasting, and brewing coffee sustainably. Named after the Akha word for mother — “ama” — the company’s roots begin in the Akha village of Maejantai, and has since received international recognition for its goals in eco-conscious agriculture, and providing local communities a way in which they can market their produce.
Founded by Prye and Pree Wongsirimana, Paya Shop by Prye Pree was inspired by the work of local artisans in rural villages across Thailand. As the two sisters travelled alongside their parents, who were co-creating products with local Thai craftsmen, they followed their parents’ footsteps in bringing together the best of traditional Thai design with contemporary styles. The result is a line of intriguing home decor products that seamlessly weave together the past, the present, and the future. As each product is crafted by villagers, every single design comes with a unique touch — all while achieving a contemporary look, and optimum functionality.
The term benjarong refers to a Thai ceramic art form that has been passed down over generations. Inspired by his father’s love for art, and his grandfather’s personal carving work, Sahas Preecharat founded Thai Benjarong in the hopes of preserving this age-old Thai technique in a way that can appeal to modern audiences. Products from the brand apply the same traditional techniques, with contemporary changes to the shapes and patterns in order to suit our current times.
Baan Kum Poon
Featuring mudmee silk by Khun Pun, Baan Kum Poon’s designs stand out through striking Naga Ratchawat patterns, celebrating the traditional wisdom of Thailand through tapestry weave. Silver and gold metal strands are combined in stunning patterns of mudmee silk, reflecting the identity of Muang Ubon. Since its origins, the brand has reached international recognition, having received the Award of Excellence from UNESCO.
Offering hand crafted ceramics and pottery, Mo Jirachai focuses on plates and bowls that can be used daily. Intricate, and filled with unique characteristics that draw from Thai traditional art, the brand combines other fun elements from Thai culture to show a more nuanced side of the country. When such playful, lighthearted elements are combined with exquisite details, there is an engaging sense of beauty that draws audiences towards exploring the concept of Thainess.
Thorr has garnered a reputation for offering woven goods, created in collaboration with local craft communities around Thailand, and giving their handiwork a striking contemporary twist. While woven products actually play a large role in everyday life in Thailand — for instance, a woven reed mat is not a novel sight — very rarely do you see a brand that pays homage to this aspect of our local culture. Recognising this gap, Thorr continues to play its role as a minority that aims to continue preserving Thai art, while developing the local craftsmanship.