Mystery Thai Wall Hanging .....

Framerguy

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I have no idea what this is called, it has a black cloth background, images of Thai people decked out in fancy regalia (maybe Thai gods?) astride elephants with an occasional building/temple. It is constructed in such a manner that the people, buildings, and animals are all sewn onto the black backing with padding behind them to give them a 3 dimensional look. It is lavishly decorated with gold and silver thread and thousands of little conchos sewn on in different designs. Each one of the figures is intricately stitched in separate pieces of cloth, padded, and then sewn onto the backing. It is quite an elaborate piece and the first one that I have done.


I may try to take some photos of it but it is already behind some OP-3 and I don't know how successful photos will be.

Has anyone framed anything that sounds like this? The owner is out of town for a week and I may get some insight on the piece from him when he returns.

Framerguy
 

Ruth

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I did one of those about six years ago. All I remember about it is that it was about 20"x40" in size and it was heavier than you would think.
 

Susan May

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I'm not sure on the speling, but what you have is called a Khalaga. Pronounced Ka-LAY-ga. I have framed LOTS of them. The elephant is probably done in silver sequins, if so, they are real silver. It probably has some 1/4" glass beads.

They are hand stitched. Nice to see that someone else gets to frame them for a change. :D

(Oh... if you try to look them up on Google, please be carefull... I got some interesting web sites.) (X-rated)
 

Kit

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Tom, that sounds a bit like two pieces I did a while back. Mine just had elephants (lifesize); no people.

Of course the borders were crooked and I spent a long time adding support stitches around the beasties but I loved how they looked when they were done.

I'm such a sucker for anything sparkly and shiney - thousands of silver sequins had me near to hyperventilating.

I don't know anything about the history or origin of these pieces. My favorite Thai restaurant has a couple (badly framed) as part of their decor.

Please post pictures and let us know whatever background you can find out.

Kit
 

MatFramer

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I have done several of these. I finally asked one young girl about them. I think she said the elephants were a sign of good luck or well wishes to a young couple getting married. I am not 100% sure about that though. Anyway, I do remember it is something about good luck.

In our shop, we call them "elephants". Everyone knows what "elephants" are. The first one I ever did, a new girl took the order. She only charged about $150 apiece and we had 2 to do. They were huge, she learned about how to charge for shadow boxes. On top of that, the owner got really nasty by the time all was said and done. I don't touch those things now without charging a pretty penny. They do take several hours.

I hope you made a nice profit on that one!!! :D
 

Puppyraiser

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We, too, have done a few. I think of the customer who had a FIT when I told her it would be $400. She bought a 16x20 frame (piece was about 14x24) and planned to 'just put it under the glass'. Uh huh. I told her that I wouldn't recommend it for the following reasons, but she wouldn't listen. Guess either she did it that way anyway, or else tortured someone else with it....
 
G

Gumbogirl

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When I worked in a shop full of framers a few years ago, we had a couple bring one of these in. They balked at the estimate for the job, and this elephant was gi-huge-ic. They came in a few days later, hiding the copy of the original estimate (like we couldn't spot our paperwork a mile away) and asked how much, dealing with a second framer.

They got three quotes from three of us, and we were all the same, thank goodness. (apparently, the three of us all forgot the PITA customer charge) Anyway, they ended up having it done, since they couldn't get a lower price from any of us, and you guessed it, they were super picky about the finished product. Knowing these things don't like to be straight, or lie flat, we had taken extra measures with it. They were still a nightmare to work with. Fun, fun. I don't know that you can ever charge enough labor to cover one of those things.
 

Framerguy

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Yup, that sounds generally like the piece I did. It was 40x59 and the "little conchos" may well have been sequins to some people ............ Kit.

Heavy, ........ very! And the right hand end was over a quarter inch shorter than the left hand end vertically! (And that stuff doesn't stretch worth nuthin'!!)

It's so dark and dreary here today that I don't think I'll even try to take any photos of it yet. (Oh, yeah, it DOES get dark and dreary in Paradise about 2 or 3 days out of the year!
cry.gif
)

Come to find out that this is being shipped to a relative up Nawth! Good luck on having UPS get it out of Florida in one piece let alone all the way to New England!! I will recommend that he take it over to Pak-Mail and have it crated. I put OP-3 in it because of its size but I didn't know that it was being shipped until yesterday. His ex- told me that her sister is getting it for Christmas.

Sing along now ............ "I'm dreaming of a Thai Christmas ......."

I will post any photos that come out decent enough to see thru the acrylite. It was really a kinda cool ?tapestry?. (But soooo honkin' big!!)

FGII
 

MarkG1

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FGII,

I did one of those about a year ago. Didn't charge enough of course.

I sewed extenters on the thing and streched it like a canvas. then did the regular shadow box job on it.

Very big, very heavy and a real pain. It was for a doctor's wife and she thought that because they only paid 10 U.S. dollars for the thing that the framing shouldn't be much more. Ha Ha. You gotta love 'em.

Sorry to hear that you had a dreary day down in the sunshine state. We are getting ready for winter to set in here. Rember that?
 

Baer Charlton

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So Wa De Cup, Framerguy.

Aint they fun. As customers have over the years brought them in to the verious shops I have worked at, I always remember my boss back in 1971.

With a VERY straight face he told the lady that it would be about $150 to start, and then we'll talk about the frame....

He knew all about the sewing involved. He also told me a trick about the larger ones.

Lay out a map with a large piece of paper. Mark where you will be taking some stitches in the back of the elephants. Then do so with a curved carpet needle and heavy string, going deep into the padding. Thus by grabbing a "meaty" stitch of the weighty part of the piece, draw those strings through the backing and tye them off tight with a "button" of mat board. This will secure the weight of the elephants to the middle of the backing and prevent a sagging.

About a year ago a woman brought on "circle" one in. About 30x31-1/2" it would have looked horrible in a circle and worse in a square.... Octigon was ok.

I told her that I would try to keep it under $1,000, and then we could talk about the frame..... LOL. She said that she had eight more larger ones to do for her Thai church. (trying to get the price down). I told her that because I have an affinity for Thai, I would try to keep them each under $2K. She did the one, but I haven't seen the others yet..... but then it's not the 20th of Dec, yet. LOL
 

wcox

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What is really interesting is they are not from Thailand at all.

The are made in Burma and are called Burmese Tapestries.

I have made several trips to Thailand and have imported lots of these.

Offically since the tapistry's are from Burma they are illegal because of Thailand does not recoginze Burma as a county and bans imports from them. However they are sold all over Thailand.

We have sold smaller ones made into pillows and the larger ones we stretch over Upson Board with batting underneath.
 

MatFramer

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When I need to punish someone in the shop, I tell them they need to go sew elephants. We all know what it means and get a good laugh!! Yes, those things are nasty and I don't think anyone gets paid enough to do them..........well, 2K, that might work.
 

Framerguy

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Well, y'all pinned down what these hefty items are and where they originated. Here are a couple of pics of this piece.

Thaihanging1.jpg


This framed out over 5' long and 42" high.

Here is a closeup of the detail:

Thaicloseup.jpg


All those little sparkley things are silver sequins, thousands of them on the entire tapestry! I wouldn't want to be the QC guy who had to check to ensure that each one had the proper allotment of sequins on it!! :eek:

It priced out at over $700 and took me about 3 hours to mount. The total job probably took around 5 hours.

(It seemed like the other 2 hours was eaten up peeling off the protective paper from the OP-3! I only peeled back a couple of inches until the tapestry was ready to mount in the frame, then I removed the inner sheet of paper. I left the outer sheet on until the thing was completely done so it didn't get scratched or attract every ounce of dog hair and dust in the mall!

(We all have dogs in our businesses except 2 who don't own dogs.)

As I worked on this, all I could picture was Kit in a black evening dress with this goody wrapped around her shoulders! :cool:

FGII

P.S. SE Asia is the only area of the world where the horses grow almost as large as elephants!
shrug.gif
 

Kit

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Beautiful job, Tom! You've got it looking straight and square - I suspect that was the hardest part.

Gotta run. I'm off to the gym for my weight lifting class. I want to be prepared just in case I ever get the oportunity to wear one of those things.

Kit
 

Ron's dog's flea's brain on acid

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Originally posted by Baer Charlton:
So Wa De Cup, Framerguy.

Actually "shwe-chi-doe", Baer. These are the older, antique ones that incorporate genuine precious stones and metals that make them very rare and expensive. Hardly any antiques were stuffed, yet most nearly all fake "antiques" made today are stuffed with cotton.

Nowadays, most of these tapestries are made by families in their own homes - a true cottage industry. For example, the sequins are hand-made using tiny strips of copper extracted from telephone wire. A silver finish is created by washing them in potassium.

The glass beads are hand-made by cutting glass scrap into little pieces and then slightly melting them in backyard kilns until they form beads.

Burmese consider the work of U Sein Myint to be the very highest quality available today.
 
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