Don’t let their simplicity deceive you. The sleek, modernist lines of these mango-wood vases connect multiple generations of Thai wood-carvers. The young artisan who creates them combines carving skills she inherited from her father with her own fresh sense of style. The unpretentious design also belies the time that goes into creating each vase. Each lathe-shaped vase is made from a single piece of kiln-dried mango wood in a process that can take as long as two weeks.
Please note that these vases are for decorative use only and are not watertight. Use them to display dried flowers, or as sculptures in their own right.
Handcrafted in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Mango wood.
Honeycomb: Approximately 14"H x 6 1/2" diameter.
Saifon grew up in a small rural village in Thailand, where many neighbors made their living through handcrafted items, from saa paper to lacquerware to silver. Although her family traditionally worked in wood carving, they wanted Saifon to receive an education in the city. After graduating, she married her college sweetheart and helped with his family's business.
Eventually her entrepreneurial spirit led her to open her own workshop in Chiang Mai, where she sells her father's furniture and wood carvings alongside innovative designs of her own. "My father is an excellent carpenter, and I inherited this skill from him," she says. Her biggest challenge is the competitive market for wood carving, but she knows that his skill and her eye for design give them an advantage. She says, "For us, quality comes first."
Each vase is made from a single piece of mango wood, taken from older trees that no longer bear fruit and will soon be replaced by young seedlings. The process begins by removing the bark and shaping the log on a lathe, which can take as long as three hours. After that the wood is kiln-dried for three days, removing any moisture and creating a hard, durable wood. The smoke and soot from the kiln are smoothed away, leaving the perfect blank slate to carve and decorate. From selecting the wood to applying the final coat of lacquer, the process can take as much as two weeks.
Thai ceramic artist Duangkamol, who crafts these striking
blue vases, works in a tradition that is close to 2,000 years old. Chinese potters brought the techniques of wood ash-glazed celadon to northern Thailand more than 700 years ago. This collection ...