Today's TV Tuesday post written by Aaron Caramanis, Crafter/Set Decorator:
So, I'm considered the "travel guy" of our department. In my mind, I think I've slowed down, but the girls are quick to disagree. One thing I enjoy when abroad, especially if I'm on my own, is to take a factory tour. Usually these are more like workshop tours. At times it may feel like you're on a 5th grade field trip all over again, but I have yet to be disappointed. One advantage to touring the studio of a local artisan is that the item often costs less at their gift shop, and the selection is typically wider than what you may find in the tourist markets in town. But the best part for me is simply seeing how things are made.
Many of these tours, sometimes self-lead, have been in Southeast Asia. Below are some photos of a few explorations that have stood out: wandering around Bangkok's bustling flower market at 2 AM; seeing the construction of paper umbrellas in Chiang Mai; lacquerware bowls being polished to an onyx finish in Bagan, Myanmar; silk being farmed, spun, and woven just outside of Siem Reap, Cambodia. Just as it's important to have an understanding of where the food we eat comes from, you develop a greater appreciation for any object after seeing it built right in front of you.