Artisans d’Angkor is based in the city of Siem Reap and was created in 1998 to help young people in rural areas surrounding Angkor Wat to train in highly-skilled crafts. Artisans d’Angkor now employs over 1,000 people and has said that rural workshops are helping to slow down rural depopulation in Siem Reap.
Apprentices must first undertake a six-month apprenticeship which includes a living allowance, before they can undertake a three-month internship after which they can acquire the status of craftsman and gain the opportunity to work at Artisans d’Angkors on-site workshop or village workshop.
Woodcarving is a popular craft at Artisans d’Angkor and visitors are able to look around their workshops, seeing the carvers in action. Surrounding the workshops are countless designs and technical drawings from which the carvers and artists produce their work from.
I find the photo above absolutely brilliant. It is so insightful to see how the artists create their motifs, in this case a flower, showing us how it can be deconstructed into simple shapes. Artisans d’ Angkor not only does woodcarving, but also stone carving, silk painting, metal work, lacquering and gilding, ornamental Painting and silk weaving.
If you ever find yourself in or near Siem Reap I would highly recommend a visit to the Artisans d’Angkor, you could spend hours looking round the various workshops and seeing all the finished work for sale in their shop.