No great mystery in the carving itself. Simply, very talented individuals expressing themselves through their artistic ability. These fabulous Artists have been brought up on a diet of Buddhist images and the meaning behind every characteristic of the Lord Buddha. So who better to trust, when wanting to capture the peace and majesty of Buddhist Art.
I think it would be fair to say that most Westerners consider Buddhist Art as fashion items or fashion for decorative display. Though there’s absolutely nothing wrong with this mindset, my experience has proven that the more serene and original the expression or pose, the more attached one becomes to each individual piece. I for one would never wish to part with my own personal collection.
At first sight, most of the available carvings of this theme appear to captivate the average foreigners’ attention and imagination. The selection here though, maintains the tranquility and harmony associated with ancient beliefs and the relationship between the truly appreciative and Lord Buddha himself. One needn’t be religious nor an expert to decipher between the ‘purpose made fashion accessory’ and ‘original art’.
The majority of these carvings are made from ‘Monkey Wood’ or ‘Chamjuri’, in Thai (genus-Pithecolobiuma). It’s a fast growing Rain Tree commonly felled to make way for rice plantations. Not only does that mean it is ideal to recycle, but also favoured for it’s strength and light weight. The procedures for soaking and oven drying this wood are similar to that of the Bamboo.
My associate here in Thailand , who produces these ‘works of Art’, has been doing so for nearly 7 years now. She employs a modest amount of staff and together they instill, almost loving attention to every detail in every item they produce. From use of the Bamboo ‘twig’ (image on the right), sculpturing beads on the head of a Buddha figure to the ‘Gold leafing’, ‘Antique’ and various ‘distressed’ paint effects they use to finish these beautiful pieces.