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Classic Furniture Thailand

is this an old teak? yes, it is. still available? yes. is it expensive? it is. from the jungle, which people also use to make other things such as a mortar (for crushing rice). are most of the wood come from the city of prae? where is it from?

from where? i don't know neither! old wood. people like to sell. they bring them onto a truck to sell. most of them are old wood. no new wood. old wood are durable right? and there're also grains and natural patterns. i am sculpturing it into a lion. is this on demand?

no, i am just making it. after that i'll sell it at the shop. how much is it when it is done? 7,000 bath. how long does it take you to make it? not sure. i just work on it as i please. a month? not that long. three days. and then you put it up for sell in order to get 7,000 bath?

we're told that you are the number one wood craving master here. it depends. sometime i put it up for months and no one would buy it. it depends. how many shops do you have? just one. kumlah shop is that your own? yes, my wife is doing other decorative works, such as the "kan-toak" (a plate for food). do you have any children? yes, i had one. he passed away.

i had one. he's pretty good. he studied fine arts. he's also a carving artisan. it's an accident. that took his life. he's great. he's very skillful. thai patterns, design, etc., he could do all of them. he used to teach it to others as well. it's a car accident.

two of them. with his friend. it's too bad. he's up and coming. so, he's survived by you and his mother. are there anyone else coming to learn wood carving from you? there're some. they come to study a bit and then continue by themselves. are there many masters like you in the village? there're some. 2-3 of them.

all these three masters were apprentices of the same grandmaster? no. we all learned from different teachers. often it's the heritage that has been passed on from one generation to the other. like my son, who passed away, he was learning it from me. he's inheriting it from me. how about you? who did you learn from? from my father. with two brothers. we all learned how to carve lions. i was learning it from seeing other doing it, to pass on to the children and grandchildren. are you making your own tools as well?

no. i bought them. but i made my own handles. how long does it take you to finish this? it depends, whether i feel like finishing it. 2-3 days. sometimes i help my wife at the shop. delivering goods and so on. that's also my work. (baitong's voice) we want to bring foreign students to come and visit your workshop. is that fine? (baitong's voice) on august 21, will you be home?

yes. i'll be here. i'll be here otherwise i'll be at the shop, or delivering goods. yes, i can demonstrate. they can take photos. are you mainly carving lanna singha (lion)? can you also carve something else? most of the time i disseminate work to others. because there're many artisans here. i have to disseminate to others. (the master is telling his phone number to baitong)

(speaking in northern dialect) there're things that my son made that i keep to remember him. how old was he when he died? 31. so young. that's all the merit he had garnered in this life with you. do you also design those decorated ornaments on the singha yourself? all by myself. so many of them already. how about the giant singha in front of your house? also yours?

but that one is cement? you can do cement work as well? yes. all mine. your cement work is so amazing. very elegant. where did you learn the cement work? from the master in petchburi? by myself. i have the background in how to make a singha.

i began by working at the temple near here. since i was young. i began by trying to make a singha. so, back then, to learn the art of wood craving you can just learn it at the temple? the temple is like a school? the teachers were also there. this temple, and that temple. which one has beautiful singha. that's where the teacher is. the cement singha is also lanna-styled?

applied. with some thai patterns. the "kanok" pattern. depending on the fashion. if someone like it i'd sell it. the cement singha has the steel structure inside? otherwise it'd be too heavy if it's not hollow. did you use a special type of cement? whose formula?

mine. a special formula. is there anyone to maintain this formula? there are some. other are using similar formula as well. it's an art. do you think this form of art can be maintained? i think it will stay in equilibrium. it'll be like this. it won't disappear completely, nor be maintained in full-scale.

it's been passed on from the ancestors. the skill, i mean. like me, three brothers. were there many more people doing this? about the same. many have passed away by natural causes. it's not going to disappear completely. there're people who are helping to maintain it. but the skills will change or transform? like this one that you are working on? how complete is it at this point? 70% 80%

this one is almost complete. it's just the details that are left. if complete, these pieces would be there as well. i took out the wood from the piece of wood that i carved into the singha, and then put it back in. they all have to be from the same piece of wood. like this piece, if you don't take it out first it's impossible to carve. it's a technique. heavenly animal. it must have all of these ornamentations. what about the back? more details? yes. right here.

more thai patterning at the back legs. they all have to be from the same piece of wood, otherwise the grain won't match. let's see how many small pieces you have here? wow. so many. there're also small sockets to place these wing pieces? so beautiful. don't forget that we'll come back on august 21! it's typical for me. i go to many exhibitions to show my works.

to help the villagers promoting the products. what about the nail parts? need to polish. (a conversation about the summer school)


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