Baan Tawai Woodcarving Fair
25 - 28 January, 2002
Another Chiangmai Province "Heartland" Festival is at Baan Tawai from January 25-28, 2002. This is more a display and exhibition fair rather than a festival. Properly called the Baan Tawai Woodcarving Fair, it is an annual event which is again of great interest to visitors who may like to see, first hand, how the intricate wood carvings are created and decorated.
The village of Baan Tawai is another easy excursion for either morning or afternoon. A songtaew will take you along the Chiangmai/Hangdong Road (which begins at Airport Plaza) before turning left into Baan Tawai and the Woodcarving Fair
Baan Tawai is the focal point for wood carvers from all around Chiangmai province. Different carvers specialize in different products so a host of various items will be available. Traditionally, the wood carvers were farmers who, during the non-planting or after harvesting seasons, would whittle and carve wood for home furnishing and decor. From such humble beginnings, and over generations, the Baan Tawai wood carvers have established a strong export business. A business which reflects customer demand within the framework of artistic Thai cultural designs.
In days gone past, hardwood especially teak was the wood of choice for carving. However, teak supplies have diminished (such logging is now strictly controlled in Thailand) although some teak logs continue to be sourced from Myanmar (Burma) and Laos. Also, recycled teak timber from old farm houses or barns provide some supply to the carver. To meet a customers particular instructions, teak wood can still be obtained from the Forestry Organization but don't be surprised at its expense! Instead of teak, many other woods are now used. Wood from the monkeypod tree or mango tree are very suitable alternatives and can be carved into the most beautiful of pieces. But do be careful when purchasing (if only genuine teak will meet your need); sometimes retailers who do not have the firsthand knowledge of a wood carver will use the term "teak" as a generic to cover all woods.
The Woodcarving Fair will cover the full range of carved products from small, souvenir type items to very grand, and exquisitely carved cocktail cabinets. Deftly carved elephants (from small to not so small!), salad bowls and servers, candle holders, lamps, furniture, toys and dolls will captivate those who stop by at the Fair.
If you fall in love with a large, wood carved item such as a full dining or bedroom suite or a be-feathered Indian to sit outside your cigar store don't worry about shipping to your home country. The good folk at Baan Tawai have been in the woodcarving export business for a long time and know exactly how to meet your shipping requirements.
Those interested in genuine, hand crafted wooden products and quality furniture or those who would simply like to see wood carvers at work and have an enjoyable excursion at the same time then a visit to the Baan Tawai woodcarving Fair is highly recommended.