Thursday, February 4, 2010


Though the season right now in Thailand is cool and dry, it is still a great experience to stroll along Patong Beach on Phuket Island.

One of the country's most popular beaches, it boasts plenty of active and relaxing options to enjoy. Thailand is also the home of featured jewelry designer Ploy Intha.

Without a doubt, Thailand silversmiths create some of the world's most exquisite silver jewelry.

Once considered an inferior metal, objects, and trinkets of silver were owned by commoners while the wealthy and royalty adorned themselves with gold.

Currently, however, perceptions about the white metal have changed and silver jewelry is a staple of not only Thailand's jewelry industry but the jewelry industry as a whole.

Though living with poliomyelitis in one leg, Intha did not let this deter her from becoming a silversmith. "Thailand is the birthplace of so many handicrafts, and I particularly loved the exceptional silver designs," she says.

"This led to a job in a silver shop. Although I loved working as a silversmith, due to the physical discomfort of my leg I had to leave because I was unable to sit for extended periods."

Afterwards, Intha accepted a housekeeping position with employers who, over a three-year period, allowed her to complete her high school education on weekends. Still, memories of her experiences at the silver shop did not easily diminish.

"I continued to visit the old silver shop when I worked as a housekeeper, so I decided to return to the trade working for myself. This way I can set my own hours, so as not to tire and that really makes me happy," she enthuses.

Intha not only designs gorgeous jewelry items, but also exquisite sterling silver handbags. The cultivation process for both involves painstaking details that include placing silver in a crucible, blending small amounts of ground charcoal with molten silver, and carefully shaping arabesque patterns with chisels.

Intha's implementation of traditional Thai motifs such as semblances of indigenous plants like kanok and argent flowers are breathtaking while items like her Duet Earrings display her deftness at simpler, sleeker pieces.

There is both a delicacy and boldness to her jewelry, which to me is represented by her lacy, wide many wide cuffs.
It seems Intha imparts a little of her own spirit to her pieces; leaving an affirmation that unless limits are set there are actually no limits to what one can achieve even with physical challenges.
Photo 1 (top right): Sterling Silver Floral Spheres Chandelier Earrings
Photo 2 (bottom left): Sterling Silver Subtle Indulgence Bracelet
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