The Royal Thai Handicraft Center
Beautiful Thai wood carvings are famous worldwide. Thai wood carvings have both form and function. Wood products such bowls, vases, miniature ships, and art carvings can be made from well known hardwoods such as Teak to the now In Trend Mango wood. Wood carving is used to decorate Thai houses and temples, from pulpits, doors, and windows, featuring unique and delicate designs. Traditional designs consist of Thailand’s culture from the past.
Though wood carvings can still be found anywhere, the pieces of fine craftsmanship like those done by craftsmen of former days are rare. Nowadays, wood-carving is a work done against time, and this results in less elaborate and less graceful products. Wishing to conserve this craft, Her Majesty the Queen has sought highly-skilled wood-carvers to teach the young, inexperienced people from the countryside, giving them an opportunity to learn from their teachers without having to worry about how to earn their living. All this is done for the preservation of perfect art works as a national heritage.
Mostly, teak has been used for carving as, unlike nowadays, it used to grow in abundance in Thailand. Besides, it has the right quality for the purposes, being fairly soft and tough, which makes it easy to carve in various beautiful, deep and sharp patterns. Its natural wood grain is also attractive. When painted or decorated with lacquer-gilded design, teakwood can quickly absorb the solutions. Wood-carving is done in two styles bas-relief and free-standing both of which require similar steps of carving. Firstly, the carver sketches what he wants to carve on a piece of wood. Then he uses iron tools like a chisel and a hammer to cut and shape it accordingly. The work requires great care and patience as damage can easily occur. The next step is to carve smaller, more detailed patterns with accordingly smaller tools. The completely-carved wood may then be painted, lacquered or gilded as desired.