Beautiful hardwoods have long been used by the craftsmen not only to bedeck wats and homes, but also to fashion charming carriages, palanquins, barges and elephant howdahs. Wood is used to make an array of domestic items.
Royal throne and barges are graceful examples of the art of woodcarving. The doors, windows and gables of the temples feature delicate and unique designs. Some Buddha images are also carved from wood.
Chiang Mai is known for fine lacquerware. Conventionally, black resin of Lak tree is used to make it. The resin is applied to the base of bamboo or teak, adorned with designs made from natural pigments. However, commercial producers use different techniques.
Ceramics articles were first developed in Thailand in the Sukhothai era. Glazed green-blue celadon was most famous among these. Then crude but colorful ceramics made in Ayutthaya became popular. The Chinese made ceramics with Thai patterns and exported them to Siam, the then Thailand. The designs incorporated images from Hindu and Buddhist mythology, as well as flower motifs.
The skill of silkworm raising probably came to Thailand from China. Silk of north east Thailand, with it's peculiar texture and iridescent colors, has been a traditional folk craft, specially of village women.
They raise silkworms, spin and dye the threads, and then weave the fabric of handlooms.The dazzling cloth manufactured by them has always been the prized possession of the nobility.
Silverware has been a popular craft in Thailand, particularly in Chiang Mai region. The products incorporate many styles, including flame and floral patterns as well as Buddhist images and mythical figures. The silversmiths were held with reverence in the society.
This special metalwork is used to adorn betel boxes, trays, vases and other small boxes. It is an ancient art of applying an amalgam of metals to carved portions of gold or selver objects against black backgrounds or vice versa. The Thais learned this art from India.