Decorative Arts

          Two teachers taught me puppetry Khru Chuen Sakulkaew and Khru Wong Ruamsuk. I started taking lessons in 1973. Not long after this, Khru Chuen asked me to perform in her troupe at various engagements, such as temple fairs, school fairs, etc. It was to be experience gained from exposure to real audiences as well as an apprenticeship under a master.

          Khru Wong travelled from Amphawa in Samutsakorn to teach me puppetry at home. He stayed for several nights at a time and was
fastidious in turning me into a good performer. I owe a great deal to these two great masters for their styles of puppetry.

          As far as puppet construction is concerned, I retained the old puppets I had received from Khru Chuen as teacher and further valuable advice on making headdresses was offered by Khru Chit Duangyai.

          The first puppets I made had less refined costumes because I made them on my own from what I had seen without having been properly taught.

          It was not until 1977 that I was introduced to Ajarn Yuen Bhanudat, an expert in decorative arts. She taught me the art of embroidery with sequins and gold thread. I applied the knowledge I gained from her to my puppet theatre and some other works, such as embroidery for theatre costumes, ladies traditional shoulder cloths and monks fans, etc. Ajarn Yuens words, that the embroidery she taught me could be applied endlessly, still ring true to me. I, myself, have passed on the embroidery I learned from her to many of my peers and juniors when the occasion has arisen.

          I see the fact that my team consists mainly of painters as an advantage because we enjoy an exclusive autonomy in designing, drafting patterns, embroidering, building puppets and doing our own puppetry.

          This puppet theatre is truly a collaborative venture and, unlike painting which is my principle line of work, I could not have done it on my own. Its success requires a collectivism that demands a uniting of many individuals and parties from many branches of knowledge and expertise.

Chakrabhand Posayakrit
26 May 2003
Dioramas from Thai literature | Patterns for the embroidery of theatre costumes | Patterns for the embroidery of puppet costumes
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