Wood Carving From Thai

Wood carving is probably not what comes to people’s minds when thinking of Thailand. However, the art has been around for generations and with the ever-increasing numbers of exporters it is slowly carving its way into homes around the world. You don’t have to be an art expert or wood carving enthusiast to appreciate and admire the immense skill and workmanship that goes into each and every piece.

Most of the wood carvings and craftsmen in Thailand come from the north due to the plentiful, but unfortunately decreasing number of hardwood forests, in particular teak, although skilled craftsmen can be found throughout the country.
These craftsmen hand down their expertise from father to son and from mother to daughter. Usually the men do most of the heavy carvings while women do the sanding and decorating. It is not uncommon for men to carve away for up to a year to complete a piece of work.

Whilst this seems a long time, it is highly believable when you see the intricate workmanship and the exquisitely carved pieces that these craftsmen are capable of.
Some of the most impressive work is done on planks of raw timber, mostly teak. The designs are firstly drawn on and then using a mallet and a range of specialized chisels, the original drawings are made to come to life.

These pieces of work involve a lot of deep carving, particularly of villages, animals and various other depictions of Thai life and are made to appear three dimensional. However, there is a bountiful supply of wood products ranging from exquisite pictures, furniture and statues to more everyday items such as salad bowls, trays and lamps.

The products can be seen throughout Bangkok and Thailand; from street vendors to markets, to departments stores and specialized shops and galleries. However, to really appreciate the traditional and exquisite art of Thai wood carving, a trip to an operation room is a must.

Author: Kathryn Chipps