Artisans Angkor, the Rebirth of Angkor Arts and Crafts
Siem Reap (Cambodia) – July 4, 2017 (travelindex.com) – Artisans Angkor is a semi-public Cambodian company which aims at promoting and reviving Khmer Arts and Crafts. As a natural offshoot of the Chantiers Ecoles de Formation Professionnelle (CEFP) created in 1992 to give professional skills to young rural people, Artisans Angkor was designed at the end of 1990s to provide jobs with attractive working conditions in Siem Reap province. Create sustainable employment Since then, Artisans Angkor has developed its in Siem Reap province own training program and now employs both its own apprentices and CEFP trainees.
The company is completely self-financed and regularly invests in the opening of new workshops and the setting up of new training programs. It employs today about 1,200 people, including more than 800 artisans, and is the first employer of the region of Siem Reap. 48 workshops are currently operating in Siem Reap province.
Since its creation, Artisans Angkor has pioneered a new social policy in Cambodia by guaranteeing a higher income than average as well as social and medical welfare. 5% of our craftsmen are people with disabilities and the company respects gender equal opportunity principles. The artisans have formed an association called “Artisan[ Khmer”, which has a 20% stake in the company.
The company has successfully revitalized traditional workmanship and keeps striving to create sustainable employment to contribute to Siem Reap region economic growth.
As the customers’ satisfaction is their priority, the daily challenge of every artisan is to offer nothing but excellence to make Artisans Angkor a unique showcase of the best of Khmer Fine Arts and Crafts.
Artisans For The Future – Learning through apprenticeship:
Craftsmen were trained either at the ChantieroEcolm de Formation Professionnelle (CEFP), created in 1992 by the Cambodian Ministry of Education to provide vocational training to young total people with limited education, or at Artisans Angkor training school. After passing several skills and motivation tests, the new apprentices, aged from 18 to 25 years-old, start their !raining specialized in crafts or silk by groups of 15 to 30 people. During this 6 to 12 months free training, they receive a living allowance.
The Modular Conception Unit (MCU):
The CEFP developed a learning methodology enabling these young people to quic1dy acquire the necessary Skills to master a craftsmanship and enter rapidly the job market. This teaching tool is based on self-awareness, pro-motion and development of the individual.
Two training centers – Chantiers-Ecoles:
-Stone and wood carving, polychrome, lacquering & gilding, and silk painting
National Center for the Silk (CNS)
-Mulberry tree growing, silkworm breeding, thread preparation and weaving.
Following the training period, three to six months of internship are still necessary to complete the newly learned technical skills. Afterwards, the freshly trained artisan may join a workshop close to his or her home village.
Integration and professional evolution:
Created to ensure professional integration for young people in meal areas, Artisans Angkor has built and equipped 48 workshops and provides management and support to more than 900 artisans.
Artisans Angkor, A Trustworthy Partner
Kbal Spean site:
Artisans Angkor was mandated to reproduce some portions of Kbal Spean’s missing bas-relief carvings, under the supervision of archaeologists.
Angkor Thom South Gate:
In 2009, the APSARA Authority (Cambodian institution in charge of the protection and management of Angkor and Siem Reap region) entrusted Artisans Angkor with the reproduction of 12 heads of Divinities and Demons as Angkor Thom South Gate.
Residence d’Angkor (former Pansea):
The decoration of this hotel was the first special project carried out by Artisans Angkor. The furnishings were made of Cambodian laterite, precious wood and silk.
Victoria Angkor Hotel:
The furniture of the hall and suites, the lights of the rooms, the paintings, sculptures and panels were designed exclusively for this hotel.
Amansara I and II:
Artisans Angkor decorated the walls of the rooms and the garden of this high-class hotel. At Amansara II, two monumental bas-reliefs of 43 meters were built to embellish the spa.
Phnom Penh and Siem Reap International airports:
At Phnom Penh airport, Artisans Angkor created sculptures, shadow theaters and bas-reliefs to magnify its refined style The artisans also decorated the honorary pavilion (special place designed to welcome VIPs) in collaboration with “Alma Architects”. In order to enhance the Khmer identity of the premises, Artisans Angkor produced majestic pieces of more than 5 metric tons to adorn Siem Reap international airport.
Japan Aichi Expo, 2005:
Decoration and co-animation of the Cambodian pavilion during 6 months at the 2005 World Expo in Japan.
Decoration of a castle in Dordogne dating from the 12th century.
Discovering Artisans And Their Crafts
Stone and wood carving:
The artisans start working on precut blocks of sandstone or rubber tree wood. Following a very precise technique, they trim, carve and chisel the block with their handmade tools. The carving is then polished with sandpaper. For tie finishing, varnish and patina are applied on both wood and stone items. Our artisans usually carve bas-reliefs, heads or standing statues.
Polychrome, lacquering and gilding on sandstone:
Sandstone is coated with several layers of lacquer, gilded with copper leaves and adorned with natural pigments. Such a finishing makes this new piece look like the original one. All produced items are reproductions selected from traditional Khmer works of art.
Polychrome,lacquering and gilding on wood:
The artisans begin this process by degreasing and thing the wood, before applying colors made from natural pigments. The pieces can be adorned with gold leaves or copper leaves gilding. Stature (standing Buddha and heads) and some types of boxes are polished to get a glossy finish. For panels, bowls and other kinds of boxes, the artisans apply a lacquer layer before gilding.
On a tightly stretched and framed pure silk fabric. the artisans draw motifs which are inspired by paintings from the Royal Palace and Wat Bo pagoda in Siem Reap. Only natural pigments are used.
The craftsmen emboss and engrave the copper item after having molded is into the fire. The artifact is then soaked into water and acid baths. Afterward, the method of electrolysis is used to enhance the brightness of the product.
Silk making process:
From mulberry trees providing silkworm feed to silk dyeing and weaving.
Where to find us:
Artisans Angkor – Main Showroom
Stung Tfuney street, Siem Reap
Workshops of: Stone & Wood Carving, Polychrome & Lacquering, Silk painting
Open daily from 7.30am to 6.30pm
Tel: (+855) 63 963 330
Angkor Silk Farm:
Puok District (20 minutes from Siem Reap Center)
Silk production & weaving workshops
Open daily from Sam to 5.30pm
Tel: (+855) 63 399 064
In front of Angkor Wat
Open daily from 8am to 5:30pm
Phnom Penh Boutique:
In front of the Pass Office
Open daily from 9am to 7pm
Tel: (+855) 23 992 409
Siem Reap International & Domestic Airports Phnom Penh International Airport