Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Phitsanulok trip (3)

To support the Sgt. Tawee museum further, I decided to visit his sculpturing workshop not too far from the museum. Sgt. is an expert artisan in metal sculpturing, esp of Buddha images. I believed he is in his 80s now but still look very active. I read somewhere that he 's a student of many renowned Thai sculpture artists, including my late relative (my mom's cousin). I decided to order a buddha image he is preparing a clay model now (picture). Of course, it 's a model of Phra Phutthachinnaraj. The cost was 6900 Baht for the 5.9" model. I did not go for the larger size which costed 14,000 Baht. I hope to get it in October this year, after a religious ceremony to be organized in Phitsanulok when it is done. Altogether, I over heard that 2552 images would be created and all the profit would go to support the museum. I am glad my wife is very supportive of my idea to help the museum this way.

Phitsanulok trip (2)

We also stop by to visit the award winning Sgt. Tawee 's Folk Museum, a private museum showcasing of his love of local knowledge-base. In it we found thousands of old equipments used in day-to-day life of local villagers, including wooden farm gadgets, traps of great designs for various sizes of fish, for various animals, and for birds. There were also hundreds of old toys, kitchen wares, some of which we found it to look funny (o.k., o.k., I 'll say it explicitly, like a coconut scraper shaped like a bunny with a dick, for example), and century old pictures, to name a few. Many items are over a century old. There was a sign saying "no photo inside" the houses so we did not take pictures inside, out of respect. Not many visitors came to the museum each day and it is operating at a loss. There was a newspaper clip posted on a board there, saying that the museum may be closed this coming April. If that is true, it would be sad.

We decided to support the museum somewhat by spending over an hour at the museum shop and buy a lot of things.

Phitsanulok trip

I have not been to Phitsanulok for a long time. Normally, it 'd be just a drive-by visit, i.e. when my destination was at another city. This time it 's my intention to get to visit this city. I drove there via highway 117, now divided highway, compared to a small two-lane highway almost a decade ago. Now I really know the time flies. The first place to go, of course is Wat Phrasrirattanamahathat (alternative spelling:- "Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat"), which is called Wat Yai (the big temple) by locals, to pay respect to Phra Phutthachinnaraj (alternative spelling is:- "Phra Buddha Chinnarat"), regarded as the most beautiful buddha image in the World, built over 700 years ago. The last time I paid my homage to him, he looked different than this. Now he has had a new gold coat over his body, compare to the over a century old gold coat I saw when I came the last time almost a decade ago. And I think his face looks slightly different too, since having his new skin means that the older gold skin layer had to be removed and a black coat of plant resin had to be applied before new gold plating.