Travel Photo Thursday — April 11th, 2013 — Silver Smithing in Chiang Mai

Posted by on Apr 11, 2013 in Destinations, Thailand - Chiang Mai, Travel Photo Thursday | 34 comments

Welcome to another week of  Travel Photo Thursday.  Yesterday I was met with a blustery wind, and snow showers as I hurried to the bus stop. Bah Humbug!, I say. We need spring 🙂 This semester is also one of the busiest I’ve had in a while, with over 100 students. When I finally started thinking about Travel Photo Thursday last night I opened up Flickr to see what I could share. Today I have only one shot, and it’s one of my favorites from this past winter in Chiang Mai.

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Most visitors to Chiang Mai’s Wat Sri Suphan, myself included,  go to admire and photograph the temple’s beautiful silver Ubosot. Here’s one of my recent shots. However, if you take the time to explore the temple grounds you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find an active silver smithing community. I had no trouble wiling away a pleasant hour watching both layman and monks producing silver products, mostly pictures depicting Buddhism scenes. This shot is my favorite from that day. Doesn’t this young monk look focused and intent on his task?


Monk Doing Silver Work at Wat Sri Suphan, Chiang Mai


Travelers Tip

You will find Wat Sri Suphan in Chiang Mai’s silver district on Wualai Road; also home to the city’s popular Saturday night walking market. The temple is open from sunset to dusk everyday. The silver smithing shop was bustling on the day I was there at around 3pm. Entrance to the temple is always free of charge. There is a small outdoor cafe, where you can purchase water and other beverages.


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  1. That’s a beautiful shot, Nancie! I can imagine the amount of concentration and skill they need to produce those silver products. This is the first I’ve heard of the silversmiths in Chiang Mai. What a great keepsakes those would make. Wishing you better weather soon and a trouble-free semester.

    • Tahnks Mary! Chiang Mai is well known for its silver work. I have bought some lovely silver jewelry over the years, at a fraction of the price I would pay in Canada.

  2. That’s certainly different weather than what you enjoyed during your Chiang Mai winter. And it sounds like a busy semester, too. I didn’t make it down to Wat Sri Suphan on our Chiang Mai visit. That artisan certainly looks like he’s concentrating. Nice photo.

  3. Hi Nancie, what a beautiful image; nice depth of field. And what an interesting subject. I can feel the intensity of his concentration. i’m curious to see the finish product of his work. It must be exquisite.
    I hope a nice spring weather is upon you soon. We finally got a decent spring day in NYC yesterday! Thanks for putting this TPT up despite you busy semester.

    • Hi Marisol…yes the silver in CM is really lovely. Enjoy the NYC spring. I am envious 🙂

  4. I love the shot – not only the subject but your composition is fantastic and I love how the background is blurry so we focus on the fellow.
    I’m not feeling too sorry for you with regards to weather as we have had a yucky spring so far. I shoveled again a few days ago. but it does sound like you’ve got a heavy load with students. When’s the next break scheduled?

    • Thanks, Leigh. Thankfully I haven’t had to shovel since getting back from CM. I don’t envy you. I am grateful to have a job I like, but looking forward to our summer break. The last day of classes is June 19th. I think we have a long weekend in early June, but nothing until then.

  5. I must admit that this is the type of travel photo I love. It really tells the story and is intimate. I myself find this hard to do – taking photos of people – but occasionally I pull it off. This one where he is just going about his craft oblivious to the camera (or appearing to be) is wonderful.

    • Hi Jan, I know what you’re saying. Photographing people is not easy. I was pleased that this shot worked out so well!

  6. Always lovely to see artisans at work, what a world away from the jewellery shop at my local shopping centre in Sydney.

  7. It’s fascinating to see the intensity and concentration he is displaying. The skills required are’s often a shame the pieces they make sell for so little. Chiang Mai is a busy town!
    Summer’s lingering in Western Australia…the change of seasons are certainly getting later. I hope you manage to get a mid term break Nancie.

    • Hi Jenny, no midterm break here. Enjoy your lingering summer 🙂

  8. A beautiful travel photo Nancie, that really captures a moment in time. I think it’s the sort of photo that stands the test of time too, and will always have meaning because the energy and concentration on show just jump off the screen and grab you. Thanks for sharing a pertinent and interesting short post today.

    • Thanks for your kind words, Johanna. Definitely one of my favorite photos from the winter.

  9. Wow! Nancy you just get better and better and managing focus and light. A real work of art!

  10. Kalimera from Poros, Greece. It is Thursday afternoon here and a beautiful one at that. I’ll put more into TPT next week – we’ve been jet-lagged a bit and have off and on internet here. So more later – I promise I’ll visit as many of you as time permits this week!

    • So glad you could drop by Jackie! Enjoy every second of your time in Greece. Looking forward to seeing some beautiful photos.

  11. That is a beautiful shot, Nancie. You’ve really captured his concentration. It’s as if he’s meditating.
    Thanks for sharing this post. I never even thought about how they make all those wonderful silver products. Beautiful!

    • They’re all made by hand. There are quite a few silversmiths in this area. Some of them have workshops in their homes.

  12. He is focused indeed… Beautiful photo, Nancie! (^_^)

  13. I bet it requires lot of concentration. Nice shot, Nancie!

  14. Well I wrote something long and it did not like my email address – so this is shorter and I will be back

    • Hi Eileen, Nice to see you here. I visited your post, and tried to leave a comment, but I got a weird error message denying me access.

  15. I love watching artisans at work! Crafts like this are truly amazing to me. I be this was a great day.

    • Hi Debbie, I really enjoyed wandering around and watching and photographing what was going on.

  16. I’ve always wanted to learn silversmithing.

    • Margaret, you should. I’m thinking maybe you could find a class close to wherever you live.

  17. Yes, he certainly does look focused on his work. It’s always interesting to see the seriousness and pride with which people do intricate work like this. Wonderful photo.


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