Window to Chiang Mai Thailand
In the north, silverware goes back at least to the time of King Mangrai, who imported artisans from Myanmar. Chiang Saen period silverware has been found in burial mounds.
Despite this long tradition, antique Chiang Mai silver is no older than 100 years.
The modern silver industry has Burmese origins that began with the resettlement of people from the Shan States by Chao Kawila. King Chulalongkorn also patronized the arts and settled Burmese craftsmen in Chiang Mai in the Wualai area, which has remained the center of traditional silver working ever since.
Bowls used for ceremonial purposes are produced by hammering intricate patterns into silver sheeting placed over a wide tub of pitch. Local demand for silver belts as well as exports for the tourist market has given new life to the industry. Wealthy businesses have revived the production of large silver bowls weighing several kilos as prestige items.
Where to see silverware:
The home of silver making is still Wualai Road, where silver shops line both sides of the street.
79 San Kamphaeng Road, Chiang Mai 50130 (H1006 KM.6)
Traditional Chiang Mai Silverware.
Tel: 053338015-7 Fax: 053338684
Sherry Silver Jewelry
59/2 Loi Khroh Road., Chiang Mai 50100.
Modern silver jewelry.
Tel: 053273529 Fax: 053273196
95/19 Nimmanhaemin Road, Chiang Mai 50200
Antique silver jewelry.
Tel: 053216096 Fax: 053216022
106-110 Wualai Road, Chiang Mai 50100.
Tel: 053275171 Fax: 053201415
All Handicrafts of Chiang Mai