A Collegiate Experiential Learning Initiative – Sambut Budhtep

Sambut Budhtep

Suthep Panyamang

Sambut Budhtep, nicknamed Nong, is currently 63 years old and has been carbing for nearly 50 years. He started at the age of 10 and was taught by his father, practicing woodcarving in his spare time when he wasn’t in school.

Sambut inherited the job of woodcarving from his father as there was no other suitable work available to him at the time and was luckily both talented and passionate for the field. He earns a reasonable standard of living from his profession, but does feel that it is physically hard, and sometimes looks for other part time jobs to maintain his lifestyle.

He is skilled in both woodcarving and sculpting, and specializes in creating traditional lions. Sambut can carve and sculpt 5 different types of traditional Thai lions, aslong with Cambodian and Lanna lions. He states that none of them are hard to make, as long as you are aware of the history and style of each individual lion.

Sambut does not have a his own show and does not sign any of his pieces, He sells his pieces wholesale to a specific shop and also does repairs. He doesn’t do special orders or pieces as he feels that it stifles his creativity, especially since the customers usually have very tight time frames.

Brand Mantra

“Traditional, Courageous, Devotee”

Traditional: Sambut is in every sense traditional. He learned the craft from his own father, and then passed it on to his son. He also mentions many traditions and explains the deep meanings behind much of his work. He uses skills, traits, and resources that have been around for centuries, and his main passion is to keep the art alive and to teach young students this special craft. The traditional aspect also came from the art that he chooses to carve, which are the traditional Thai lions.

Courageous: Sambut mainly carves the traditional Thai lions. As such, courageous is a perfect mantra for him seeing that lions represent courage. Sambut is also very courageous for choosing to carve the lion, which is one of the toughest to produce. Also, Sambut’s eldest son passed away at a young age, and Sambut exhibits an extreme amount of courage by continuing to work in his profession, even though he could find another job.

Devotee: Sambut must be a very devoted person to continue his work after his son tragically died. He has been doing this work for over 50 years, which also proves his passion. The devotion he has for this art and for the craft in general is unending. He is devoted to his work and works diligently, doing the work because he loves it, even though it is exhausting. He could find another job that pays more and is less exhausting, however he believes that the importance of continuing the tradition of woodcarving is worth it. He believes in only selling the highest quality woodcarvings, and he even goes as far as not letting his students sell work if they are not up to his standard. He is happy and content with the work he provides and he is devoted to uphold this special craft.

Students and Successors

Sambut has a number of sudents who he is teaching. However, none of them are skilled enough to sell their pieces. He did have an older who he considered a worthy successory with excellent skills, but he sadly passed away during a road accident.

Sambut states that he would be like to train more students, but committed artisans with talen and passion for the work are hard to find nowadays, especially since they can find better pay in other professions.

Thoughts for Baan Tawai’s Future

Sambut only wishes that there are more tourists and customers visiting the town of Baan Tawai and spending more moeny, as well as wishes for young students to be more interested in pursuing woodcarving as a career. With previously over 100 woodcarvers in Baan Tawai, there are now less than 20, and he is scared that the craft will soon die. Subsequently, he believes that the Local Governemtn should work on revitalizing Baan Tawai to ensure that the traditional art of woodcrafting does not disappear.

About

Sambut Budhtep, nicknamed Nong, is currently 63 years old and has been carbing for nearly 50 years. He started at the age of 10 and was taught by his father, practicing woodcarving in his spare time when he wasn’t in school.

Professional Career

Sambut inherited the job of woodcarving from his father as there was no other suitable work available to him at the time and was luckily both talented and passionate for the field. He earns a reasonable standard of living from his profession, but does feel that it is physically hard, and sometimes looks for other part time jobs to maintain his lifestyle.

He is skilled in both woodcarving and sculpting, and specializes in creating traditional lions. Sambut can carve and sculpt 5 different types of traditional Thai lions, aslong with Cambodian and Lanna lions. He states that none of them are hard to make, as long as you are aware of the history and style of each individual lion.

Sambut does not have a his own show and does not sign any of his pieces, He sells his pieces wholesale to a specific shop and also does repairs. He doesn’t do special orders or pieces as he feels that it stifles his creativity, especially since the customers usually have very tight time frames.

Brand Mantra

“Traditional, Courageous, Devotee”

Traditional: Sambut is in every sense traditional. He learned the craft from his own father, and then passed it on to his son. He also mentions many traditions and explains the deep meanings behind much of his work. He uses skills, traits, and resources that have been around for centuries, and his main passion is to keep the art alive and to teach young students this special craft. The traditional aspect also came from the art that he chooses to carve, which are the traditional Thai lions.

Courageous: Sambut mainly carves the traditional Thai lions. As such, courageous is a perfect mantra for him seeing that lions represent courage. Sambut is also very courageous for choosing to carve the lion, which is one of the toughest to produce. Also, Sambut’s eldest son passed away at a young age, and Sambut exhibits an extreme amount of courage by continuing to work in his profession, even though he could find another job.

Devotee: Sambut must be a very devoted person to continue his work after his son tragically died. He has been doing this work for over 50 years, which also proves his passion. The devotion he has for this art and for the craft in general is unending. He is devoted to his work and works diligently, doing the work because he loves it, even though it is exhausting. He could find another job that pays more and is less exhausting, however he believes that the importance of continuing the tradition of woodcarving is worth it. He believes in only selling the highest quality woodcarvings, and he even goes as far as not letting his students sell work if they are not up to his standard. He is happy and content with the work he provides and he is devoted to uphold this special craft.

Students and Successors

Sambut has a number of sudents who he is teaching. However, none of them are skilled enough to sell their pieces. He did have an older who he considered a worthy successory with excellent skills, but he sadly passed away during a road accident.

Sambut states that he would be like to train more students, but committed artisans with talen and passion for the work are hard to find nowadays, especially since they can find better pay in other professions.

Thoughts for Baan Tawai’s Future

Sambut only wishes that there are more tourists and customers visiting the town of Baan Tawai and spending more moeny, as well as wishes for young students to be more interested in pursuing woodcarving as a career. With previously over 100 woodcarvers in Baan Tawai, there are now less than 20, and he is scared that the craft will soon die. Subsequently, he believes that the Local Governemtn should work on revitalizing Baan Tawai to ensure that the traditional art of woodcrafting does not disappear.