Traditions through Design

Stories of Silver&Silk was created by Lucija and Titapa, who share a vision to work in the design field with a specific dedication to help preserve local knowledge and traditions. Each design piece tells a story (hence the name) of who created it or how it was born, thus connecting the artist and the product with the customer.
The infinity spiral motif that inspired design of our logo comes from the traditional back ornament used by Dong and Miao tribes. In many cultures a spiral is symbolizing the never ending cycle of life that has neither beginning nor end and has been widely used by numerous Asian ethnic minorities.

Stories are…

Joy

Co-founder, co-owner, head designer and marketing manager of Stories, Joy is a Bangkok native who believes in sustainable and responsible approach in design where products can truly connect the artisans with consumers thus helping to preserve beautiful Thai arts and crafts.

Ekachai

Born and raised in a Karen hill tribe village in Northern Thailand, where silversmiths traditionally pass their knowledge from generation to generation, it is Ekachai’s expertise and skills that bring our design ideas to life.

Lucija

Co-founder and co-owner, creator, coordinator and art director that calls Thailand her home since 2008, has made her commitment in design field to support the local know-how and traditional skills, by means of creativity, innovation and respect towards ancestral knowledge.

Ekachai

Born and raised in a Karen hill tribe village in Northern Thailand, where silversmiths traditionally pass their knowledge from generation to generation, it is Ekachai’s expertise and skills that bring our design ideas to life.

Preserving the heritage

For us, design represents an occasion to find a creative solution in any given situation. But above all, we believe in the beauty of handmade items and the deeper meaning behind things that are born from ancestral knowledge and in harmony with local customs. Products made in such way do so much more that just bring pleasure to the customer; they create a link between the user and the artisan, they help keep the traditional approach to crafts alive and in continuos evolution, they create an opportunity for the whole community and their welfare and offer a positive inspiration for a better future for everyone.

About Karen Silver

Our silver products are hand crafted in 95-98% Silver by Thai Karen hill-tribe artisans.
The Karen are a group of ethnic peoples who reside primarily in southern and southeastern Burma and in northern and north-eastern Thailand. Thai and Burmese hill tribes can be traced back to the 12th century when they are said to have originated from Tibet.
With a higher silver content than sterling silver, Karen silver has a weight, bright satin color and feel, all of its own. Every piece is handmade and individual.

Our typically messy, dusty, silver-dust coated working counter in our workshop.

 

Silver is alloyed with other metals to improve its durability. Brass alloy is often used to increase the hardness of silver products. We do not use nickel in our jewelry.

After the melted silver was cast into ingot shape it is then suitable for further processing.

 

Silver is passed into rolling mill to reduce metal thickness and to furthermore create wire with various profiles (square, half-round or round wire). We also use it to create sheet from ingots.
We often use silver wire that offers great varieties for jewelry-making – various wire profiles and thicknesses mean endless possibilities of designs, and the surface can also be altered to make pieces even more unique.
Adding patterns is a great way to manipulate silver surface and the results can be surprising, as well as unique. Various materials can be passed into rolling mill together with silver sheet and the patterns are thus stamped onto the surface.
Fabrics and dry organic materials are our favourite means of obtaining beautifully embossed surface designs. Interesting effects can also be achieved by chiseling or by creating streaks with the narrow part of the straight-peen hammer.
Many of our objects are created by first cutting the shape out of a fine silver sheet. These shapes can then be folded, bevelled, punched, dapped or otherwise treated into final pieces.
Pattern-stamping is a favourite technique with the Karen silversmiths as they have such a vast variety of traditional patterns. Round flower shape stamp that we often use is called “Podduang” which in the past was used to decorate silver money (the term in fact stands for old Thai money).
Fine tuning of edges or refining the shape, but also adding a scratch-effect on the surface, sand paper, hand files or polishing stones are some of the most basic and also most often used tools in our workshop.
Finished products are dipped into water with detergent and gently brushed to bring out the beautiful luster typical of high-purity silver that we always use in all our products.

Our Sustainable Approach

Stories of Silver&Silk’s mission is to move beyond quantitative profits and create solutions for the socioeconomic problems within the communities where products are produced. In Thailand the richest 20% of the population owns 60% of the generated income while the poorest 20% of the population only owns 4%. Stories of Silver&Silk hopes to lessen this disparity by creating opportunities for the low income population in rural communities to lead a sustainable lifestyle without disrupting their traditional ways.

“It’s all started with a shared passion for design and tradition.”