Khmer Artisan Project

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About Us

Khmer Artisan Project is a United States nonprofit corporation.  Our organization incorporated in California in July 2006.  We are a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization and recognized by the Government of Cambodia, through registration as an International NGO with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts.  We are governed and locally based in Cambodia, with a business office and program facility in Odonrossey village, Cambodia.  We also have a United States business office in Sacramento, California.

Khmer Artisan Project’s Board of Directors consists of the following three directors:


Bruce Fairman

Bruce is Chairman of the Board of Directors, Chief Executive Officer/President and Project Manager of Khmer Artisan Project, and Country Representative to Cambodia.  He lives in Odonrossey village and oversees program development and operations in Cambodia.  Bruce also teaches contemporary ceramic design and production methods, and marketing strategies in Khmer Artisan Project’s ceramic development and training program. 

Bruce is an entrepreneur, successful businessman, and nationally recognized ceramic artisan in the United States.  He has worked as a design potter for the last 30 years and for the past 25 years, successfully owns an art business in the United States.   Bruce developed a line of handmade artisan pottery that is collected by art collectors worldwide.   He designs each piece of ceramic art and hand-throws all of his pieces on the potter’s wheel.   His classic forms are then finished with glazes containing gold, platinum, titanium, and other organic materials.  Drawing on his educational background in Economics from a major college in California and his experience in sales and marketing,  Bruce has developed over the past 25 years a sales network of art galleries across the United States.

Bruce is Khmer Artisan Project’s visionary.  He donates a considerable amount of his own funds, talents, time, and heart and soul to achieving Khmer Artisan Project’s mission, and brings an enterprising, pragmatic, creative and fiscally responsible approach to meeting the challenges.


Shaheem Khan

Shaheem is a Director and Secretary of Khmer Artisan Project.   He holds a Masters in Social Work from the prestigious University of Michigan.  Shaheem has extensive experience in providing direct support to clients in job development, training and job coaching services, and performing evaluations of social services pilot programs for county government.  His work includes developing, implementing and monitoring vocational and oral comprehension skills of individuals with developmental disabilities and mental illness for county government.  In addition, Shaheem’s experience includes working with the large and culturally diverse Asian community in California.  His deep understanding of the cultural issues affecting Asian women is an asset to Khmer Artisan Project. 

Shaheem’s responsibilities with Khmer Artisan Project include establishing monitoring programs to ensure student success in the ceramic development and training program, and identifying and addressing barriers to student development in the program.  Shaheem is resourceful, forward-thinking and individualistic in meeting our challenges.

Derek Nicoll

Derek is a Director and Khmer Artisan Project’s Chief Financial Officer/Treasurer.  He holds a doctoral degree in Business Finance from Edinburgh, Scotland.  Derek has worked as an educator in the United Kingdom for several years and acts as an educational and technology specialist in Cambodia.  In addition to his consultancy and teaching work, Derek has also provided guidance to nonprofit organizations in professional and skills development programs.


Khmer Artisan Project’s teaching staff in Cambodia is:

Ming Keean

Ming Keean has lived in Odonrossey village her whole life and for the last 20 years, she has worked as a potter.  She is an exceptionally skilled artisan-potter and was awarded the Certificate of Merit by the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts for completing a prestigious ceramic design program sponsored by the Ministry.  Ming Keean specializes in large coil forms.

Ga Pow

Ga Pow also has lived and worked in Odonrossey village her entire life.  She apprenticed under Ming Keean and has worked as an artisan-potter for 12 years.  Ga Pow’s expertise is medium-sized coil forms and composite ceramic forms.  A composite form is a ceramic piece built from two or more separate pieces and put together to form a single piece.  Ga Pow is also a master at firing kilns.

Sok Nep

Sok Nep has lived in Odonrossey for about half of his life.  Before becoming an artisan-potter, Sok Nep worked as a laborer building homes.  He became interested in ceramics when he worked as an assistant building a large kiln.  Since that time, Sok Nep has worked as a self-trained artisan-potter.  Though he has no formal training, Sok Nep is exceptionally skilled in traditional Khmer carved designs.  His appliqué work on pottery is outstanding and Sok Nep is considered to be one of the finest carvers in the region.  Sok Nep also has extensive knowledge of kiln construction.

Paula Gai

Paula Gai has lived in Odonrossey village her entire life and has five years of experience in ceramics.  Her formal training includes attending ceramic workshops in Odonrossey village sponsored by visiting foreign potters.  Paula Gai specializes in small wheel-thrown pieces and she has an excellent eye for form.  She is a very gifted potter but has been unable to continue working as a potter because it is very difficult under current conditions to make a sustainable livelihood in ceramics.  Paula Gai is currently working a menial job in a local garment factory to help support her family.