JUA, a firm that makes only handcrafted products in the Kingdom of Thailand, was born of the idea that it is only through trying and failing and repeating, that we gain a true understanding of the world around us.
JUA believes in bestowing modern sensibilities to ancient Thai cookware, which has essentially remained unchanged for the past few centuries. Using only locally sourced, sustainable materials, JUA’s highly skilled artisans create products of unsurpassed quality and workmanship.
Designed to stand the test of time and challenge conventional thinking, JUA’s collection of unique kitchenware and cutlery is bold, innovative and versatile and yet stays true to its cultural roots.
Items like the wok, the mortar and pestle, the cleaver and the cutting board are seen to have kept their original forms as seen over the years. JUA’s designers took on the task of reinventing these basic kitchen elements and in the process have given them an edge, that too by using only sustainable materials. JUA’s cleavers are forge-welded and hand-hammered from carbon steel in the Ratchaburi Province of Thailand.
Tamarind wood is dense, durable and resistant to decay and is therefore the preferred wood for chopping boards and butcher’s blocks in Thailand. This rapidly renewable resource is hand-picked and processed by a family with more than 40 years of experience. Hand-worked coconut wood is the common denominator across JUA’s Maprao Collection.
Carefully selected from 100 year old coconut trees culled from plantations within hours of Bangkok city, it is hand-polished to a brilliant lustre. This frequently overlooked and often discarded wood is used across JUA’s collection as handles, cutting boards, mortars and pestles.
Coconut wood, or coco-wood, as it is more commonly known, performs as well as or even better than conventional hardwoods and represents a viable substitute for endangered or unsustainable species.
The older the coconut tree, the more bitter its fruit. Planters in Amphawa often cull older trees to make room for newer, sweeter, saplings.
The old wood is then discarded or burned for firewood. JUA reclaims the heartwood from these old trunks and uses them for the manufacture of mortars. Sanding and hand polishing helps bring out the wood’s gorgeous sheen.
Ang stone is a sparkly, warm-toned rock once found in abundance along Thailand’s eastern seaboard. It is composed mainly of granite and sandstone, and has now all but disappeared due to overharvesting. JUA’s Sila collection is composed of smaller, secondary stones sourced from masonry centres, scrap heaps and abandoned quarries.
Grown for its tangy fruit, which is used extensively in Thai cooking, Tamarind trees and plantations can be found all over Thailand. Like the coconut, the tamarind fruit loses its quality over time and old trees are regularly replaced by young saplings. JUA collects these old logs and uses them for their Makham collection. Tamarind wood is dense, durable and resistant to decay.
It is the preferred wood for chopping boards and butcher’s blocks in Thailand. JUA’s mutually interchangeable mortars and bowls are fashioned from black granite and fit firmly, in a mortise and tenon fashion, into an accompanying base. It’s the perfect marriage of form and function.
Ang Sila, meaning ‘stone basin’, is a sleepy fishing village on Thailand’s eastern seaboard not too far from Chonburi City. The village is famous for its mortar and pestles, used for pounding chillies and creating spicy sauces so essential for Thai food. The making of these mortars is a traditional craft that has been preserved for generations.
The artisans of Ang Sila produce some of the country’s finest works and the stone they prize most is known as Ang stone. It is a mixture of granite and sandstone and has a rich, warm glow, flecked with bits of golden pyrite. Over the past 50 years Ang stone was over-quarried and now just a little of it remains. JUA salvages stones from masonry centre scrap heaps and abandoned quarries and puts these unloved and discarded stones back into good use.