Chiang Mai Artisans: The Art of Making Traditional Thai Parasols
During my recent trip to Chiang Mai in the northern highlands of Thailand, I visited handicraft workshops to watch artisans making traditional Thai parasols, silk, wood carvings and lacquered pots, boxes and ornaments.
This series of photos shows the parasol workshop and its artisans.
Painted and unpainted parasols in the parasol workshop
Close-up of painted and unpainted parasols
Bundles of unpainted parasols alongside finished, painted ones
Artisans in Thai parasol workshop
Frames of drying sa paper made from mulberry tree bark
Frames of sa paper, made from mulberry tree bark, drying in the sun
Cutting bamboo spokes for parasol frames
Bamboo parasol frames
Close-up of bundles of bamboo parasol frames
Bundles of bamboo parasol frames
Fixing bamboo spokes to make parasol frames
Cutting sa paper to size around a parasol frame
Glueing pieces of sa paper to parasol frame
Close-up of glueing sa paper to parasol frame
Glueing sa paper to parasol frame
Glueing layers of sa paper to parasol frame
Parasols in different stages of production
Glueing sa paper to parasol frame
Glued sa paper drying in the sun
Fixing bamboo spokes on parasol
Finishing touches to parasol
Artisans at work
Painted parasols and artisans at work
Gorgeous painted parasols
Oh my, they are beautiful. Did you get one? It’s amazing how much work these people put into a parasol when back in the western culture 90 per cent is made by machines.
July 3, 2013 at 6:11 pm
Thank you Suze! They’re incredible and so much hard work has gone into them. I imagine they get paid very little too. Unfortunately I didn’t buy one as I’m currently homeless and have too much to carry as it is. Another time! I’d love to have one.
July 3, 2013 at 8:47 pm
Gorgeous post Lucy! I would love to visit this part of Thailand!
July 7, 2013 at 1:28 am
Thanks Nicole! There are so many interesting and beautiful places in Thailand. I’m still searching for my place here and still missing Antigua.
July 7, 2013 at 12:24 pm
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Brilliant pictures as usual Lucy! 🙂
So much hard work, time & patience goes into making each piece, it’s amazing!
Just read about this before I came across your post on crafts in Chiang Mai, Thailand, http://www.tafalist.com/members/lavish-lanna
July 9, 2013 at 1:51 pm
Thanks so much Ritu! I absolutely love watching artisans at work and this didn’t disappoint. These people are so talented but get paid ridiculous amounts for their hard work and skill.
Thanks for sending me the link. Gorgeous bags and I’m a bag person! I’ve bought many tribal bags in my travels and not just in Thailand.
It had been a while since I’d looked at your beautiful blog so I’ve just checked out a few of your posts and followed your blog. I hope to look at it more regularly now!
Since leaving Guatemala just over a year ago I’d almost abandoned the blogging realm including my own blog but am now back again!
July 11, 2013 at 11:24 am
Yeah I know! It’s the same in India as well…the artisans get paid peanuts for what they create! 😦
I love bags and crafts too 🙂 Wish I’d visit Chiang Mai soon! Love north Thailand food too! 🙂
Yeah, I was also travelling for a better part of last and this year and not blogging regularly too…have got back to it and hope to be regular now :p
Did you visit Similan Islands yet? It’s a great place for diving.
Look forward to your posts 🙂
July 11, 2013 at 12:52 pm
I’ve still not made it to India although it’s one of those places I’ve always wanted to visit. Your photos are gorgeous!
I still also haven’t visited the Similan Islands despite having lived over six years in Thailand, three of those in Phuket. It’s always been on my list and I’ll make it there one day!
Sometimes life gets in the way of blogging as it’s so time-consuming but I do love it. I look forward to your posts too and especially love your photos!
July 12, 2013 at 10:46 am
Thanks much 🙂
July 13, 2013 at 12:38 pm
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I love the parasols made of silk where can I buy one from I went to
Thailand but never go as far as Chiang MIA
May 2, 2016 at 10:28 pm
Pat, I think any good artisan market in Bangkok should sell them. They are beautiful!
May 5, 2016 at 9:17 am