"My name is Matta Nandrakwang and I am a jeweler. I string, cut stones, and basically just do things I believe are beautiful, using materials I have at hand. These materials I work with inspire me. When I see them I can almost immediately picture how they will...
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"My name is Matta Nandrakwang and I am a jeweler. I string, cut stones, and basically just do things I believe are beautiful, using materials I have at hand. These materials I work with inspire me. When I see them I can almost immediately picture how they will come out nicely once finished. Since I started working, approximately ten years ago, I have been using different materials and constantly crafting new designs but I now mostly use gemstones, beads, and pearls. I also blend them with other materials such as silver and gold.
"My family originated from Lampoon and moved to Chiang Mai fifty years ago, where I was born November 27, 1962. But we came back, for the rest of the family lives here, so back to our hometown again. I grew up with two sisters and two brothers. I am single and have no children… I never had time, was always too busy working. I studied nursery in Bangkok where my family had a house and graduated from college with a two-year degree. Afterwards, I worked in a public hospital for four years, but I quit because, although I love helping people, I could not see myself working in a hospital for the rest of my life. I then traveled to the States for two years and I came back to Thailand.
"I always have had a real passion for gemstones, and this passion is still very much alive. Eight years ago I felt that I should learn more and consequently enrolled in a gemology school in Bangkok. There I studied on and off for about two years and learned everything that is to be known about gems. I also learned jewelery design, which did not really help because I just design what I want anyway. Besides I already designed before taking these classes and I have been quite independent in that regard.
"Sitting down here and working is what I favor most in my life, so I do this job just because I love it - I love every minute of it. Of course I wish I could sell more, for then I would extend my place, employ more people, and craft more items. So the financial aspect is also important and I have to think about what people like and craft it accordingly but my love for these materials, my designing and this job comes before everything else. Well, it is also very challenging to please people, and it makes me happy to see them liking what I create for them.
"I am here in Chiang Mai and my friends ask me: 'Oh, why don’t you go to Phuket or some busier place?' But the works I do like these pieces here...don’t you think they are beautiful? I am not inspired by anyone or by what they say. The pieces you can see in my little shop are uniquely designed; they are springing from my own mind. Some of my work is expensive, resulting from expensive and beautiful materials and hard work. So to sell them in Chiang Mai is also something of a challenge for they really have to be worth their price to be purchased."