Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Into small town Asia

Today we left Bangkok and headed to Chiang Mai, Thailand. On our continuous quest through this spiritual country we visited another temple, the Wat Prathat Doi Suithep temple, located at the top of a mountain and claimed to be one of the most famous temples in Thailand because it houses the relics of Buddha in the Golden Stupa at the top. The temple dates from 1386 and was something of a conquest because it took the people of Chiang Mai one whole day to reach the top. They had this great historic picture of one of the Ramas who traveled to the Temple and it was a HUGE deal to the local people there. P.S. - All Thais absolutely LOVE their kings.

This was also the day I decided that for the rest of this trip I will be paying attention to texture everywhere I go. The textures here are just so amazing. There is an ornate detail on everything and this is going to be one of the large components of my research here. At this beautiful temple there are these two snake-like creatures swallowing several more snake-like creatures that look just like it and function as the railing up the steps to the temple. The scales on this creature were amazing. Again ceramic mosaic bits, This time to show both the color and texture of the creature.

Tonight was also the night that I was introduced to my first night market. This was one of my favorite parts of Asia. People (who must work all day long) come out around 7:00 and set up and entire stall full of handmade good and wheel and deal their way through the night. I saw all kinds of things in these amazing night markets, but it was very exciting to see such a selection of handmade goods! I mean these people don't have access to mechanized processes, so there is nothing really produced large scale. It was wonderful. Some of my favorites were the men chasing images to be put into picture frames, pins that were little squares of fabric stuffed with cloth and embroidered with little faces and all the handmade quilts and garments. Very exciting.

I asked the gentleman who was chasing what metal he was using and it was aluminum...hmm. He must have had a very soft allow to chase on. I tried to ask about his pitch and the language barrier didn't really get it across..Too bad.

Handmade Techniques seen today:
Wood Carving

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