Crafting Thai Bling: Jewelry Making Classes in Chiang Mai
Thailand is awash with cheap, affordable and good-looking jewelry. Sure, you could buy up a whole bunch but that doesn’t have all that much sentimentality to it. Why not make your own with an expert at one of the jewelry making classes in Chiang Mai?
Visit any of the many markets across Thailand, and especially in Chiang Mai, and you’ll see hundreds and hundreds of different jewelry stalls. Earrings, rings, necklaces, bangles and more. They do look well-made and of decent quality, but in reality, they are usually mass produced. You’re not about to purchase a hand-made, unique item. So why not consider visiting a jewelry making course and making a completely unique piece of jewelry using your own hands? Now that would be quite the memento.
Tucked near the Thapae Gate, on Thapae Road, is the small jewelry store known as NOVA. Inside NOVA is a fully functioning silversmiths workshop complete with all the machinery and tools required to make the finest of jewelry. Head upstairs and there is the NOVA ArtLab. Within the lab, classes are held for you to learn some of the tricks of the trade and make your own items.
Your master for the morning may well be Nugoon. Nugoon has been working with silver for over 25 years and has a plethora of experience to share and knowledge to impart. When you arrive for a class you can be with up to 7 people but if you’re lucky you might be by yourself and have an accidental private lesson.
You’ll be presented with a variety of rings, pendants and bracelets and asked to choose the style that you like. After that you’ll be given a pencil and paper and asked to draw your design to actual size. This is your chance to unleash your inner creativity. Design whatever you like but bear in mind the more intricate the design the harder to make it will be.
Once you get started you’ll be guided through each stage step by step from your experienced teacher. If you get confused or stuck they will step in and help. Trust us, there are plenty of stages that you’ll have to work through and they certainly aren’t all straight forward! You’ll be using blowtorches, saws, sanders, polishers and all sorts of machinery. It’s a surprisingly lengthy process that will take most of the day, patience and a guiding hand but once you’re finished you’ll have a piece of jewelry that is completely unique to you.
This is definitely an experience that could be shared, group bookings are welcomed and it would be a great memory for friends to share. Especially if you were to design jewelry that linked you all together.
Bearing in mind that you work with an expert all day, the cost is surprisingly affordable. The whole day comes in at 1750 baht, with the cost of the silver on top. The silver is usually around 30 baht a gram, meaning a ring would be around 300-500 baht. This might seem a lot on the face of it but when compared with Western jewelry making courses this is a real steal.
Classes are available Monday to Friday beginning at 10 and finishing at 4 with an hour for lunch. If you’re seriously keen on silver-smithing then you can book onto a 5-day course to really dive in.
#BodegaHostels Insider Tip
The location of the NOVA ArtLab is perfectly situated for exploring the nearby night markets and food stalls after a hard day’s work. Explore the stalls and restaurants near the Thapae Gate or venture into the old town for a cool beer! If you have any questions about checking out jewelry making classes, just ask reception at Bodega Chiang Mai.