Located in Southeast Asia, Thailand covers a total area of approximately 513,000 square kilometers (198,000 square miles) and is the 50th largest country in the world and the 12th largest in Asia
The north of the country borders Myanmar and Laos, the south of the country is next to Malaysia and the Gulf of Thailand, the east of the country borders Cambodia and Laos, the west of the country is next to Myanmar and the Andaman Sea.
Thailand is divided into six regions: North, Northeast, Central, South, East, and West.
Buddhism plays a huge role in Thai society in numerous aspects as nearly 90% of Thais are Buddhists, making Buddhist temples and golden statues common sights all over Thailand.
Thailand has a mixed economy, which means the government can play a part in several economic activities while most activities are still run by private companies. Major sectors are agriculture, industry, tourism, service, and natural resources.
Craftsmanship also has an important role in the Thai society, with skils that are passed down for generations, the art of Thai crafts has long been a reflection of Thai people’s creativity and ingenuity. The intricate detail and meticulous methods is a display of inventiveness, and the elaborate designs proof of perseverance. Moreover, the abundance of natural materials such as bamboo, palm leaves, rattan and coconuts make it possible for Thais to produce beautiful handicrafts.
Traditional Bamboo Handicraft Center. In 1978, the projects of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit’s support Foundation reached Phanat Nikhom to preserve bamboo weaving technique skills. The objectives aim to conserve extraordinary folk arts and crafts passing on generations to promote better quality of life.
Mrs. Pranee Borriboon, as wife of the town’s mayor, embraced the project and established weaving workshop at her own residence. She put all her effort into searching out and gathering up the community’s traditional expertise in wicker-weaving. Today, the project under her son management, Komkrit continues to fulfill his mother’s dream, expands the heritage of weaving expertise, and develops exquisite bamboo wickerwork to achieve national recognition.
The character of Thai basketry tradition comes from the artisan’s calmness which is reflected through extremely precise and balanced pieces.
PET Lamp Pikul takes its name after the Mimusops Elengi’s flower. Also known as Spanish Cherry tree, it is a tropical tree found in the forests of this region of Asia. The flower grows in a geometric pattern inspiring the traditional Pikul pattern which can be found in many of the crafts around Thailand.
Bamboo is the chosen material. This material requires the skill and mastery of three craftsmen, each one specialized in one of the techniques of the manufacturing processes required to make each lamp.
The first craftsman calibrates the width and thickness of the strip to achieve the required shape generated by the natural curvature of the material.A hexagonal base frame is created as a warp on which a second craftsman weaves the traditional Pikul pattern with coloured bamboo strips. Once the drawing is applied, a third craftsman structures the lamp with two rigid rattan rings.
Phanat Nikhom, Thailand
June – July 2018:
Álvaro Catalán de Ocón
Thailand local partner:
Traditional Bamboo Handicraft Center