Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The artisans of Angkor

The humble silkworm being bred at Puok for its beautiful thread
If you haven't been yet, I recommend a trip out to the Angkor Silk Farm at Puok, some 16kms west of Siem Reap. The free guided tours provided by Artisans d'Angkor take you through the silk-making process step by step, from the cultivation of mulberry trees that feed the silkworms, to removing the silk thread from the cocoons and then the natural dyeing and weaving of the silk into the gorgeous end products you can see for sale in their shop outlets. They even put on a free shuttle bus from town and have a silk museum, shop and cafe onsite. If you can make time in your schedule when visiting Siem Reap, do it. Closer to home, in Siem Reap town, is the AA's Chantiers-Ecoles craft workshops where you can see master craftsmen at work with stone, metal, wood, lacquer and silk painting. You've all seen the artistry in the boutiques and shops, so take a step back and see the process from the beginning, to fully understand the craftsmanship that goes into the final product. Find out more at their website.
Boiling the cocoons to produce the yellow thread
One of the many weaving looms at the Angkor Silk Farm
One of the large sheds where the weaving of the silk takes place at Puok
The silk museum onsite at the Angkor Silk Farm
Working with metal is just one the crafts at Artisans d'Angkor's Siem Reap center
A keen eye and a steady hand is required for woodworking
A wooden standing Buddha is being prepared by another craftsman. AA employs over 1,000 Cambodians.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had visited there last year to do my research on traditional silk dyeing and weaving. they done great job.


January 7, 2010 7:40 PM  

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