Exquisite Woods : A Western Eye meets the Laotian Hand

6 May 2016 Posted by Marion

The most beautiful handmade arts of Laos have arrived in Alexander Lamont. For many years we have worked with the artisan’s of Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia and elsewhere but this is the first time the materials and skills of Laos have been represented in our stores – in this case in the form of curvaceous, glowing vessels made from ebony and burlwoods, all edged with silver. 

These wonderful pieces, resonating the delicate and fabled culture of Laos, arrive as a result of the dedication, patience and design eyes of one person – someone whose story is not so dissimilar from Alexander Lamont’s. Sandra Yuck, a Canadian has lived in Laos since 1997, where she has concentrated her significant skills on the beautiful woods and silver of the country. 

“It’s not everyday that someone packs their bags and moves to a new country – particularly one as different as Laos – and embarks on establishing and growing a business that requires building, organizing, training people to become skilled artisans…. and all this done within a totally different linguistic and cultural environment,” states Alex. Indeed, there is both empathetic understanding and complete admiration for the stunning pieces that Sandra has created. Bringing Sandra’s pieces into the shops has been like adding a missing piece. 

Salad bowl and serving spoons in Black and White Ebony.

After 27 years in Hong Kong working in the fashion industry, Sandra moved to Laos with the plan to build on the rich local textile tradition and create a collection developed in a contemporary vein, with international appeal. On a quest to add other materials and skills to her collection she uncovered a pair of chopsticks made from black and white ebony wood. She found the artisan who produced them and discovered that the wood was being utilized mainly for charcoal and not for producing any crafts. Sandra adds, “I was determined to change that and thus began my journey into the wood accessories development, resulting with a lot of trial and error, in a collection of black and white ebony followed by various exotic types of wood, turned, carved and sculpted by hand.“

Working the magnificently grained Laotian woods with such skilled artisans and a fresh eye, Sandra has beautifully succeeded in creating pieces that are deeply rooted in Laos and yet possess a very contemporary, cosmopolitan presence. 

This exclusive collection is now available at our Central EmbassyGaysornSukhothai and Anantara Siam shops in Bangkok. It includes a wide array of functional pieces that all exude the luxury of finely worked rare and wonderful materials. 

Nested bowls in Golden Burl wood with sterling silver trim.
Nested lotus shaped bowls in Black Ebony wood edged with sterling silver.
A selection of boxes and a Sake Set with tray in Black Ebony wood, all finished with sterling silver. 
Serving accessories and vase in richly grained Black and Red Ebony, silver edges. 
A view of the bowls’ magnificently grained interiors.
Large bowl with curved edges and silver trim in Rosewood Burl.
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