We first came across Karin Phisolyabut, his ceramics brand Yarnnakarn and his wonderful, all-white, glazed reincarnations of birds, butterflies and bugs, a few years ago at a regional trade fair in the city. Entranced by these charming, ceramic re-imaginings, we were keen to see and learn more, so we paid a visit to his family-run, working studio hidden down a typically narrow ‘soi’ (or ‘street’ in Thai) in the south of Bangkok.
Karin styles his wares in atmospheric tableaux, nestled amongst nostalgic, vintage paraphernalia. A pile of beautifully aged books here, an abandoned bird’s nest there and all surrounded by swathes of greenery. Rather like the overgrown garden of a lost Italian palazzo or a whimsical Victorian fernery.
The verdant studio setting where his magical creations are realised, replete with all manner of tropical planting and hanging orchids, provides the perfect backdrop to display his range. Ceramic creatures are complemented by an elegant selection of urns, vases, cachepots, display domes and large-scale glass and metal terrariums. In addition, a new flagship showroom opens in Soi Nanglinchi 4, Bangkok, at the end of February 2019.
Since I visited, Karin has expanded his range to include an ocean-inspired collection of beautifully rendered shells – tableware and trinkets such as urchin rice bowls, razor clam caviar dishes and pearl mussel platters – as well as myriad still life sculptures of people and animals, gothic skulls of birds and beasts and a wide variety of decorative, ceramic frames and wall-plaques.
So how would I style and display these delightful creations? Well, very easily actually. The ceramic sculptures are art pieces in their own right, so they generate curiosity and conversation without the need for ambitious, decorative tableaux. They provide a pleasing juxtaposition to any modern space as they lend nostalgia, a little whimsy and a connection with the natural world.
Display the animal sculptures on fixed open shelving, on sturdy sideboards or console tables or in wall niches. If you do want to create a decorative still life display then remember the number one rule of styling – mix it up! Include a sleek, modern vase from the likes of Heals or Liberty, perhaps some eclectic, inlaid boxes from Wicklewood, a glass display dome of collected finds from Rockett St. George and set your tableau against an asymmetric, organic-shaped, frameless mirror from West Elm or Maisons du Monde. Inspiration enough?
We will be stocking more of Karin’s range in the coming months so check back regularly. For now we are showcasing and selling a small edit of the potter’s original, woodland-inspired pieces with limited stock so take a look at our Yarnnakarn range online….and get yourself down to the colourful, crazy but wonderful Jatujak Market if you’re passing through Bangkok anytime soon for an assault on the senses and total retail overload. You’ll find bargains of every imagining, directional young designers, beautiful Thai handicrafts, vintage textiles and fabulous coconut smoothies!
Author: Annabel Smith, Designs By Origin