From Thailand With Love: Mango Wood Vases


Saifon Lertromyanant grew up in a small village in Thailand
watching her father create beautiful designs on the furniture he made. After earning her degree and marrying, Saifon decided to open a business of her own.

"My father is an excellent carpenter and I inherited this skill from him," Saifon writes in her mission statement. "Just by looking at a wooden product I can tell what method was used to craft it."

The most challenging part of her work, she says, is the the ability to come up with fresh, innovative designs in a highly competitive market.

Saifon first selects the mango wood and sets it under piles of wood shavings. She then removes the bark and lathes the wood into shape, a process, she said, that can take up to three hours. The piece is then placed into a kiln and fired for three days where it becomes encrusted with a thick layer of smoke and dirt. The impurities are then polished with sandpaper. After the piece is smooth enough, Saifon carves and decorates it. The final step is painting, which varies depending upon the finishing style and the natural hue of the wood. Each individual piece can take up to six days to complete.

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Saifon’s vases can be found at Novica and Perfectly Natural Home. You’ll be surprised by the diverse array of colors, moods and patterns.

Of course, if you’ve become inspired by this post, you can pick up a copy of Woodcarving Illustrated for some tips and have a go at it yourself. I’ve even found some raw mango wood for sale. And you’ll also need some carving tools. While your credit card is out, you many want to add one more item to the list.

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