Gifts from Southeast Asia

My wonderful, amazing, sweet, gorgeous husband not only took photos of places that would interest me during his trip, he also brought back a few mementos.

Woven Baskets 1
The woven tube contains a sample of raw yellow silk. He picked up this souvenir at the Institute for Khmer Traditional Textiles (IKTT) in Siem Reap, Cambodia.

Raw Silk 2
The small woven box contained these small pottery bowls. These came from a ceramics factory in Chiangmai, Thailand.

Small Pottery 3
This yarn is made in Thailand. My husband found a yarn shop in the Farong District, the old part of Bangkok. The original Mandarin Oriental Hotel is located in the Farong District. Around this area are countless craftsmen specializing in silk, silver, gems, antiquities and other items.

Yarn Made in Thailand 4
This is a beautiful silk scarf from the museum shop at the Jim Thompson House in Bangkok.

Jim Thompson Silk Scarf 5 Silk Scarf from Bangkok 6
Even the packaging it came in is beautiful. The paper envelope is imprinted with scenes of the silk-making process.

Silk Scarf Packaging 7
He picked this up during his visit to Chiangmai in northern Thailand. This silk scarf is from Jolie Femme, a Thai silk factory.

Butterfly Silk Scarf 8
This crumpled silk scarf is from the Old Market in Siem Reap, Cambodia.

Crumpled Silk Scarf 9
Finally, he brought these two illustrated books that tell the history of the Thai silk industry. The Thai Silk Sketch Book contains beautiful watercolors depicting the reeling, spinning, dyeing and weaving of silk textiles. The House on the Klong is a lovely picture book about the art collected by Jim Thompson over his lifetime and which is now on display at his home turned museum.

Jim Thompson Books 10
I may not have been there but he made sure to give me a sense of the place through photographs, retelling what he saw, and bringing these lovely things to make me smile.

Woven Hair Textile

More photographs from the husband taken at the Bangkok Art and Culture Center in Thailand. This textile is called Trailak (The Three Characteristics of Existence), 2012. It is woven entirely of hair.

Trailak by Thanawat Muncid

The placard reads:

From his faith towards Dhamma regarding Trailak (The Three Characteristics of existence) that teaches people to consider on truth of impermanence, incompleteness and non-self. This teaching inspired the artist to weave hair that is the symbol of body or impermanence to be created as a mixed media in the form of a pagoda referred to something we should remind and pay respect at all times. The objective of this artwork is to express idea, emotion and feeling obtained from considering corpse that is the mark of death in order to refine our mind from lust and omit wickedness with the aim to do good things and reach pure heart according to Buddha’s teaching.

Trailak by Thanawat Muncid - Close-up

I am assuming that the weaver used human hair to symbolize impermanence. The pagoda is incredible, with so much detail to give it its shape and ornamentation. It is rather interesting to me how buildings such as churches, temples and other holy places can last for centuries far outliving the humans who built them.

Spinning Silk in Thailand

My husband is traveling in Thailand and sent me these photographs. I think he knew I would like them. This first photograph shows a Thai man spinning silk. Look closely and you will see the delicate silk thread being pulled from several silkworm cocoons.

Spinning Silk from Cocoons

They were taken at the Jim Thompson House in Bangkok. Jim Thompson, as I soon learned, was an American architect who moved to Bangkok after World War II and subsequently established the Thai Silk Company. Look at all those silkworm cocoons!

Silk Cocoons

I love this photograph of a beautiful Thai girl winding the silk thread.

Winding Yarn

I have high hopes of receiving a hank or two of Thai silk yarn when he returns. (Hint, hint).