Wood Sculpture Art Gallery
WoodRoyal® Studio
Chiang Mai  Thailand
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WoodRoyal® Wood Carving Studio is a collection of meticulous wooden carvings which depicts the philosophy, religion, and history including the stories extracted from literature and erotic works. These masterworks are incredible examples of Lanna Art, both for its concept and content. Encompassing death and rebirth. Far greater than the sum of any descriptive words, it seemed to flow from the soil to heaven itself.




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Wood Carving: Thai Lanna's artisan way. Elephant carving is very popular in the art of Lanna. Chiang Mai, the Lanna Empire, is the most important city of the Northern Thailand where is the gathering of local artisans and the center of invaluable handicrafts. "Wooden carvings" is considered one of the finest traditional handicrafts that reflect the civilized northern people's way of life. You can find woodcarving items in many districts of Chiang Mai, Thailand. Many old craftsmen, who worked for genuine fine arts, passed away. Furthermore, the young ones prefer to operate commercial works to afford more money for their lives. Woodcarvings of Northern Thailand. This art form in Thailand originated from the temples where religious objects such as Buddha images and pulpits were finely carved. Royal regalia for the court and household objects used by the nobility were also decorated with carving in temple buildings, the doors, shutters, gables and triangular brackets supporting the overhanging roofs were often intricately carved with animal and plant motifs. Some of the best examples of carvings in Chiang Mai, Thailand are at Wat Duang Di, Wat Saen Fang and Wat Inthrawat (Wat Ton Khwen). Nowadays craftsmen specialize in just one type of carving used in the decoration of a viharn. However the modern woodcarving industry itself is a development of only the last few decades.

Traditionally only a few artifacts were commissioned, and the wooden elephant was the most common everyday carved object. The popularity of temple carvings imported from Burma as souvenirs encouraged dealers to get local craftsmen to reproduce them. The reproduction processes, which include aging methods such as burning and soaking in urine, have become so good that even experts have difficulty deciding whether an object is genuinely old. Buddhist monk Phra Bun Prasert (1925-1987) was a celebrated woodcarver who produced works in the traditional Lanna style. He specialized in the designs of door and window panels. The quality of the execution of the work depended on the hand of the craftsmen who actually did the carving. Examples of his work may be seen in the main viharn at Wat Buppharam, the scripture library at Wat Rampoeng and the chedi of Wat Phra Bat Tak Pho. He also did stucco work, the best example of which is seen at the ubosot which sits above the viharn of Wat Phan On. The scarcity of teak has forced modern carvers to use other woods like that of the rain tree. These woods carve well and are inexpensive. Staining to hide the light colors of the woods has become more common. The carving itself is usually done in the rough in outlying villages near Mae Tha, before the pieces are sent for detailed work in the woodcarving center of Ban Tawai near Chiang Mai city, Thailand.

Genuine Burmese Teak is the common name for “Tectona grandis”, a large deciduous tree of the family Verbenaceae, or its wood, one of the most valuable timbers. Teak has been widely used in India for more than 2,000 years. The name teak is from the Malayan word tekka. The tree has a straight, but often buttressed, stem (i.e., thickened at the base, a spreading crown, and four-sided branch lets with large quadrangular pith. The leaves are opposite or sometimes whorled in young specimens, about 0.5 meter (1.5 feet) long and 23 centimeters (9 inches) wide. In shape they resemble those of the tobacco plant, but their substance is hard and the surface rough. The branches terminate in many small white flowers in large, erect, cross-branched panicles. The fruit is a drupe (fleshy, with a stony seed), two-thirds of an inch in diameter. The bark of the stem is about 1.3 cm thick, gray or brownish gray, the sapwood white; the unseasoned heartwood has a pleasant and strong aromatic fragrance and a beautiful golden-yellow colour, which on seasoning darkens into brown, mottled with darker streaks. The timber retains its aromatic fragrance to a great age. Native to India, Burma, and Thailand, the tree grows as far north as about the 25th parallel in these areas and to the 32nd parallel in the Punjab. The tree is not found near the coast; the most valuable forests are on low hills up to about 3,000 feet. Stands are also found in the Philippines and in Java and elsewhere in the Malay Archipelago. Teak is also planted in Africa and Central America. During the dry season the tree is leafless; in hot localities the leaves fall in January, but in moist places the tree remains green until March. At the end of the dry season, when the first monsoon rains fall, the new foliage emerges. Although the tree flowers freely, few seeds are produced because many of the flowers are sterile. The forest fires of the dry season after the seeds have ripened and have partly fallen, impede the spread of the tree by self-sown seed. Teak trees on good soil have attained an average height of 18 m in 15 years, with a girth, breast high, of 0.5 m. In the natural forests teak timber with a girth of about 2 m (diameter of 0.6 m) is never less than 100 and often more than 200 years old. Mature trees are usually not more than 150 ft high. Due to the oil and rubber found naturally in the wood, teak has a greater ability to withstand the elements than any other wood. For this reason it has been the preferred choice for boats, and in fact, it has been used on aircraft carrier decks! This is because of its ability to resist splintering, warping and rotting. (If left un-oiled, our furniture will turn a soft dove gray when allowed to remain outdoors. This process will take approximately one year.)

Teak timber is valued in warm countries principally for its extraordinary durability. The timber is practically imperishable under cover. Teakwood is well know since early/ancient times as a valuable resource due to its long life reliability and weather resistance as well as its workable qualities. Pieces of teak have been found (in India) over 200 years old and still intact. Teakwood is used for shipbuilding, fine furniture, door and window frames, wharves, bridges, cooling-tower louvers, flooring, paneling, railway cars, and Venetian blinds. An important property of teak is its extremely good dimensional stability. It is strong, of medium weight, and of average hardness. Termites eat the sapwood but rarely attack the heartwood; it is not, however, completely resistant to marine borers. Teak also refers specifically to the wood and its characteristic color, which ranges from olive to yellowish gray or moderate brown. Teak furniture dates back prior to the 19th century used mainly by the Chinese for export to Europe. The Victorian era also incorporated the use of teakwood during the mechanical era of the 1840’s with the invention of presses, veneer cutters etc which enabled them to create decorative elegant high class furniture. Another factor here is transportation (shipping) was also becoming more advanced. Burma produces most of the world's supply, India, Thailand, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka (Ceylon) ranking next in production.

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WoodRoyal® is a primary home of rare Thai wooden carvings. The real collector must visit our "Asian Gallery" of sculpture where he'll appreciate glory of the past with each masterpiece created by local craftsmen.

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WoodRoyal® has fallen in love with wooden carvings and wants to preserve those rare art products in order that the woodcarving art legacy passes down over generations. However only individual items may be sold to interested buyers.
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The wood carvers in the past had created elaborate works with Buddhist beliefs and respects hence the wooden carvings were
found at Buddhist temples on their door, windows, and other wooden parts.

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At the present time, the wooden carvings are divided into 2 types; "fine art works", for art appreciation, and "commercial arts", for domestic sale and export.

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Updated 17-Jul-2007

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