of Thailand and Chiang Mai in particular, is famous for its ancient arts
and crafts, among them the umbrella-making, wood carving,
lacquerware, and silverware (which includes hilltribe jewellery).
Bronze crafting and silk workshops can also be found, although
bronze crafting is generally more associated with the Central Plains of
Thailand, and silk weaving more with the Northeast (Isan), respectively.
All these products can be bought in the shops of Chiang Mai, and, of course,
at the famous Night Market on Chang Klang Road, but you can also visit
the studios and workshops where these items are produced and watch the
process of manufacturing.
Very popular as a gift or souvenir (because of its light weight, but also because of their beauty), and also a real Lanna specialty, are lacquerware products. Boxes, trays, figurines, etc. are made of bamboo and then covered with three layers of black lacquer. After the black lacquer has dried, the surface is painted: all the parts that are meant to remain black are covered with a sticky yellow substance. After this the object is coated with a new layer of transparent lacquer. When the transparent lacquer is almost dry, all of the surface is covered with gold leaf. After 20 hours, the object is rinsed with water and the gold leaf that was on the sticky substance is washed away. What remains are the golden ornaments on the black lacquer. You can see demonstrations of this technique in the workshops of Chiang Mai. (The lacquer panels and door frames at the temples of Chiang Mai were made the same way).
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