- Andy Warhol
Cambodia silver work is widely available, and depending on your haggling skills, can be very reasonably priced. The wormasnhip that goes into the best pieces is exceptional, especially the traditional betel nut containers - small or large beaten copper or silver containers formed into tradtional patterns, often local animals.
Angkor Wat and the Angkor temples, and the life of Cambodians, especially around the Tonle Sap lake, is popular subject matter both for local artists, and for visitors with an interest in drawing or painting. While the work of many second rate copyists is available, some talented artists also exhibit and sell work locally, often at very reasonable prices compared to western market prices for original artworks.
The rich architectural history of Angkor Wat gives invaluable subject matter for local stone carvers and woodworkers. Many of these are extremely skilled craftsmen, capable of producing commission pieces, and the lacquered "polychromic" woodwork can be very beautiful (and easier to carry home!).
Ceramic work is traditionally centred around Kampong Chhnang, northwest of Phnom Penh, but examples of high quality Cambodian ceramic work can be seen in Siem Reap and elsewhere, and it is possible to visit some ceramic workshops and try your hand at this difficult skill.
Cambodia used to be world famous for the quality of its silk, and is now undergoing a renaissance, with artisan silk weavers producing hand-woven silk of very high quality. Silk can be bought as bolts of raw cloth or as finished products, and it is possible to visit, and even stay at, silk weaving villages, such as "Wisdom of the Forest" project near Siem Reap, or Okgna Tei near Phnom Penh, and see all stages of silk production.
Leather shadow puppets can be seen giving performances in Siem Reap, and elsewhere, but it is also possible to visit the workshops where these artforms are made, both to traditional and modern patterns. Leatherwork produced in these workshops is used for a variety of useful and decorative purposes.
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