Shan Paper and Umbrella Workshop in Pindaya

Posted on January 13th, by Juan in Handicrafts & Workshops. 11 comments

Smiles of Myanmar

Myanmar people are enchanting and very friendly. They always have a smile on their face and are ready to help you and chat with you. If you smile at anyone, you’ll get an amazing smile back! Check out the following photos and… SMILE! ;)In this first photo, my friend from a little tea stall on a Yangon street.

These two are mother and sister of the boy in the previous picture and are very special to me. They have a tea stall in the street which I went many nights for a quick dinner. The only thing she could offer me to eat was “tomato mix”. First time I said, ok, don’t know what it is but go ahead. It was delicious! Tomatoes, nuts, onions and many spices!

This girl and the one in the picture … Read More »

Bamboo Hat Workshop on Ogre Island, Mawlamyine (Moulmein)

Posted on June 12th, by Juan in Handicrafts & Workshops. 1 Comment

These typical burmese hats are handmade from bamboo husk in workshops like this one on Ogre Island, Mawlamyine (Moulmein). They are very light and are great protection from the sun and from the rain. The peak at the top of the hat on the left is made from a piece of plastic from an old bag of potato chips. Let’s see the process of making it in the following pictures.

The bamboo husk comes from very thick bamboo canes and is cut to form the pattern to the right of the lady. She is arranging the husks and securing them together with bamboo pins.

The next step is to join the bamboo husks together using thin bamboo strings.

A stack of hats waiting for the next step in production line with some weights on top … Read More »

Pottery Workshop in Twante, near Yangon

Posted on March 7th, by Juan in Handicrafts & Workshops. 3 comments

Potter sieving the clay to separate out the good quality fine powder. The bigger pieces that remain in the basket will be crushed using the wooden instrument in the background. Someone bounces on the left end, whilst holding the bamboo railing, to breakup the clay rocks at the other end.

The fine clay powder is mixed with water.

The potter turns the wheel manually, shaping the clay with her hands. You can see what she is making in the next two pictures.

She uses her fingers to skillfully shape the clay into a small dish.

Final step: the dish is cut away from the rest of the clay using a thin wire. These small dishes are used in monasteries to hold candles made using paraffin and a wick.

Recently made samples. Amazingly, all … Read More »

Gold Pounders Workshop, Mandalay

Posted on January 16th, by Juan in Handicrafts & Workshops. 2 comments

Gold pounders striking the gold to make it paper-thin.

Workers get bad backs after 10 years of work and usually at the age of 45 is when they stop because the body can’t take any more.

This is a water clock that tells the gold pounders when to take a break. It is a coconut shell placed in a pot of water. The shell has a small hole in it and it takes 1 hour to fill up and sink. When this happens, they rest for 15 minutes.

The hammer they use weighs 3 kilograms.

One of the stacks of gold leaves being pounded.

Gold pounder checking the leaves.

Gold leaves ready to be packaged.

Woman in gold workshop preparing the leaves to be sold.

Buddha covered in gold-leaf.

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