"My name is Ploy Intha. Although silversmithing is my passion, I have not always been a silversmith. When I was very young, I worked for five years as a food seller with my sister. I would...
Read Full Story
"My name is Ploy Intha. Although silversmithing is my passion, I have not always been a silversmith. When I was very young, I worked for five years as a food seller with my sister. I would wake up at two o'clock in the morning and work until nine in the evening. It was a hard job that paid very little money, but I enjoyed working with my sister and providing nourishment for our regular customers. But one day my sister took another job. I could not manage working alone, on account of my leg. I have polio. I moved to northern Thailand about that time, and began looking for a job.
"I discovered that Northern Thailand is the birthplace of so many interesting handicrafts. I particularly loved the exceptional silver designs created in this region of Thailand.
"My enthusiasm for silver soon earned me a job in a silver shop. Unfortunately, because of my leg, I was not able to sit for extended periods of time, as the other silversmiths did.
"Although I loved that position as a silversmith, I finally had to leave that post because of my great physical discomfort. I worked for a time as a housekeeper after that, for wonderful employers who allowed me to go back to school on the weekends. In three years I graduated with a high school certificate. During that time, I continued to visit the old silver shop where I had worked. My passion for the trade would not diminish!
"Eventually, with great enthusiasm, I decided to return to the silversmith trade. Now, working for myself, I am able to set my own hours, so as not to tire to extremes. And this really makes me happy!
"I would like to thank my Novica customers for all of their support. You have made it possible for me to work for myself successfully, doing what I love to do most!"
Intha describes the intricate process: "The silver alloy is molten in the forge and cast into little moulds for the balls and beaten with hammers for the thin sheets. It is also beaten and stretched into thin strings, and cut into small pieces. Some of these strings are shaped as the hooks whereas others are chained together and attached to the balls and sheets to form the wanted pattern. Once finished, the pieces are washed into a washing solution generally composed of tamarind. Then they are washed with water, dried and filed with a small brass brush and polished with a cloth."