The hand that works the loom

Recently I went to see bronze pourers and silk weavers on my day off. The ones we visited live in a little craft village about 30 minutes outside of Ubon.

The bronzers (that’s all I can think to call them) were kind enough to explain (through our Thai translator friend of course) the whole process of how the bronze sheets get made into bronze pots, bells and other items. It was fun seeing dude pour the bronze (which looked like liquid fire) into the clay moulds. The furnace for the clay moulds was so hot you could see the shimmer around it like you do when you look at the exhaust pipe of of an 18wheeler truck on a hot day. Made me think of Daniel’s friensies.

The silk ladies are the ones that impressed me (I am sure there is a proper name for them but I don’t know it). The threads they used are so tiny and the intricate and time intensive process of weaving the scarfs on their hand looms is worth the price you pay for it. We bought a couple of scarfs on the visit. The asking price for one was 500Baht, which in US is about $16. The woman I asked said it takes a good couple weeks to make one scarf. Even assuming that she makes and sells 3 scarfs a month, she would still take in less than US$50 for work that in my opinion is worth so much more. I am not sure how many people would be okay with that ROI. I find however that people in Thailand don’t seem to worry about things like that as much westerners do. I guess perspective is everything.

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