Kiki specially designed the showpiece of the Bai Mai collection. In 2000, Kiki van Eijk graduated Cum Laude at the Design Academy Eindhoven. She became well known for her famous "Kiki Carpet".

Now she mainly works on her own collection which is presented in galleries and museums all over the world. Besides her own collection she works on projects for companies and institutions such as Studio Edelkoort Paris, Design Academy Eindhoven, Haans, Moooi, Ahrend.
Since two years she has been Art Director of the Design Academy restaurant "de Witte Tafel".

For this Bai Mai project, Kiki researched the history of Celadon ceramics throughout the ages in various countries. She also looked for a royal touch in order to make a special moment out of drinking tea.

'I really wanted to create a showpiece', Kiki said. 'A teapot in which Kasama can recognize its strength and pride and which shows its craftsmanship.'

The teapots carry golden seals, displaying leaves from a tree in the garden of Kasama's factory. Kiki's own trade mark, the seals, turned out to match perfectly with the special practice by Kasama to put a tree leaf into the glaze of their products.

It is to this practice that Bai Mai - 'tree leaf' in Thai - owes
its name. The golden seals with the leaf are placed in a different position on each pot, making every teapot unique.

Kiki's teapot is extravagantly huge and is a special flaunting piece, but can also be used to pour tea from.
Kiki is very clear about who should buy the teapots: 'anyone who falls in love with them'.

Besides the showpiece, Kiki also created a normal-size teapot. This pot will be available in department stores and specialty shops, making a real 'Kiki van Eijk' accessible for everyone.

After profound preparation and consultation by e-mail, Kiki went to Northern Thailand for a week to work with Kasama's craftsmen. Kiki never worked with Celadon before. 'It was no problem at all.

The craftsmen of Kasama were fabulous. We made several casts in one week in order to make the necessary adjustments. The handle for example needed a bit more elegance', Kiki says. 'When we found the right shape,
we started testing the colours of the glaze and the placement of the golden seals. I wanted the crackle finish, which is characteristic to Celadon, as fine as possible.
That worked out very well.'

Fair Trade Original contracted Kiki for this assignment.
'I really liked the concept of contributing something to a company like Kasama through design', says Kiki. 'I'm a regular visitor of Asia and Africa, so it naturally appeals to me.' Kiki is positive about the chances for the success of Bai Mai as a brand. 'While many Asian producers only copy existing products, Kasama truly stands out by adding design to its craftsmanship'.



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