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July 03, 2015
Every year my daughter Yasmin and I each design a new collection of jewellery to be made in our silver workshop in Chiang Mai. We've been travelling to this workshop for many years to work closely with the craftspeople who help us to perfect our jewellery designs. Seeing our friends at the workshop is always the highlight of our year, and over the years Chang Mai has come to feel like a second home - it's such a beautiful small city which is surrounded by mountains, farmland and perfect green of the paddy fields!
Here are a few snaps from our recent trip...
This is Yasmin in the Celadon Tea Rooms a beautifully restored traditional teak Thai house with a secret garden. A welcome respite from the heat and shopping.
This is me and Yim at the factory’s retail showroom in Chiang Mai. They sell One’s stunning silver and colourful acrylic creations. One is our jewellery designer friend who lives in Thailand.
Jewellery designers lunch! Joy, Yasmin, Mon and One!
One of our favourite desserts in Thailand (apart from mango and sticky-rice) are these sweet coconut jelly ducks.
Yasmin, me and Mon outside the factory!
Most factory workers travel by motorbike, here are all their bikes neatly lined up.
This lady is working on our foxtail chains which are handwoven. Here she is polishing a completed chain but the weaving process closely resembles the knotting of coloured threads for friendship bracelets!
Here can see one of the crucibles where the metals are melted down to pour into the moulds for casting. There are also huge ovens where moulds are heated up until the wax melts away - this is where the wax ‘gets lost’ in lost wax casting. The ovens are incredibly hot so the staff use these long tongs as well as thick gloves to transport the moulds.
This is the room where the costume jewellery is made. I don’t design any costume jewellery but it is interesting to see the different techniques used. You can also see the enamelling room where among other colours, they find the perfect red for our strawberry charm. It is such delicate work mixing the colours in the little dishes and then painting it onto the silver!
More costume jewellery processes – gold leaf! This is not the same as gold plating which is done by electrolysis. In this case the gold leaf is carefully painted onto the jewellery, it is very slow and delicate work. Doesn’t the gold look delicious in the little cup?
Lots of Thai people are huge fans of British football. Most people seem to support Manchester United but this guy has chosen Liverpool and has decorated his entire workbench with pictures of the players!
On the last day we went back to Celadon tea rooms with Mon and Pound and enjoyed ‘Siamese High Tea’, a clever Thai take on British high tea and very delicious. After that we had a final walk through the Chinese Market (as it was Chinese New Year) and then it was time to go home!
Shop our Silver Collections here.
- Joy X
February 26, 2016
February 24, 2016