Featured Artist: Thailand
'When asked about any challenges to overcome, I would say that I never have any obstacles. I think I do what I can do and don't force things that are not ready or things that I cannot do.'
"My thesis was on batik textiles with a very good combination of colors. It was very beautiful and lively. My work was selected for publication on a pamphlet for The Student's Thesis Work. Much of my beautiful work was purchased by Austrians. All of my pieces selected for exhibition were sold out. I was very grateful for the success I achieved through this.
"After graduating in 1983, I married my husband who was a student at my same university. I started to work for a home décor company in Bangkok as a designer. By 1989 we had a small son and daughter, and we decided to follow our dreams for our children to grow in a land of peace, beauty and with a simple lifestyle. Chiang Mai is the city that offered us what we were looking for, plus it is also the center Thai of handicrafts so I started working for a big exporter of saa paper when we moved here.
"I worked there for some time and then I quit to start my own venture focusing on textile arts. I have the ability to make a good selection of colors for dyeing fibers. The color combinations are beautiful and definitely reflect my identity as well. At the beginning, I studied the color absorbing qualities of each type of fiber in order to get beautiful, stable colors. Some fabrics require pretreatment before dyeing. After that, I started dyeing fabric by doing a few pieces at a time, boiling them in a small old pot.
"Once I made sure that I could get beautiful and stable colors, then I started to experiment with some techniques to add texture to the fabric, like waxed batik, tie-dye and stitching. I constantly produce new colors to complete my stock. My designs received good response from customers who loved my work. They started to place orders.
"I started with a small pot for dyeing and eventually moved to a big pan with a diameter about the spread of human arms. The one important thing for me is to always mix the dyeing colors myself to get the right color. Before dyeing, I check every piece of fabric to make sure that it is good quality with no defect at all.
"Since I studied art, the very first lot of my production reflected quite a lot about myself. I sometimes forget to think about the market demand. My client was trying to help by telling what the market trend was. I tried to change and produce to meet the needs of the market.
"I am very happy with what I have achieved so far. When asked about any challenges to overcome, I would say that I never have any obstacles. I think I do what I can do and don't force things that are not ready or things that I cannot do. That way my work can run smoothly.
"Every day, the first thing I do in the morning is pay my respects to the Buddha. Then I walk to the small garden at the center of my house, prepare breakfast, chat with family, then go to work. My husband has a small studio where he paints. I have a small area for my fabric work. I'm getting older now and my venture is stable, and I have my daughter who graduated from art school as well to help me take care it.
"Now I have more time to work on what I love: waxed drawing and coloring to make batik. It is the same art work I did when I was studying. My family is a family of artists, my husband and my children are art graduates. When we are together, it is a very happy time. Our happiness is expressed in our art work. Now my daughter and I have become new members of NOVICA. Hopefully we will get a warm welcome from all of you. Thank you."