On 14-15 June 2021, Khon Kaen University’s Faculty of Agriculture led a training on “Contemporary Bamboo Handicrafts for Senior Citizens Enterprise Group” as part of the university’s Project for Sustainable Development (U2T). The training took place in Khua Riang, Chumpae a Khon Kaen subdistrict that for the purposes of the U2T Project is overseen by Asst. Prof. Mallika Srisutham and Dr. Porntip Phontusang and their working group. Mrs. Supawadee Srisukwat, Prefect of Chumpae District, led the opening ceremony for the training and Mr. Kumpanat Tawongklang, Chumpae District Bailiff, joined the ceremony as well.
The objective of the training was to enhance the basket weaving craftsmanship of the Senior Citizens Enterprise Group in terms of product design, improving how the bamboo material was used to make it more interesting, contemporary, and suitable for bringing out the community’s identity.
Khun Noppamas Kodauy, an expert in arts and contemporary craft design, led the training with lectures on the morning of the first day, covering topics such as: 1. Techniques for bamboo handicrafts using weaving, tying, and joint insertion; 2. Inspiration for creating handicrafts; 3. Product forms; 4. Ways to add value and worth to your product; 5. Adding value and worth to your art or product through storytelling; and 6. Important artistic elements for handicrafts.
In the afternoon and on the second day, trainees were guided in building bamboo chairs and using bamboo cylinders to form lamp products. Participants showed genuine interest in the activities, creating beautiful and attractive pieces with unique styles.
The training took place at the office of the Senior Citizens Enterprise Group of Moo 4, Ban Kham Pom in Khua Riang Subdistrict. Public relations and coordination for the event were carried out in collaboration with community leaders, the Subdistrict Administrative Organization, and village heads and leaders. Participants included 30 people representing 12 villages.
Aside from the unique and varied craft pieces that came out of this training, the activities proved the potential of the local people to build on and modify their diverse bamboo products. Their skills will add value to their crafts and increase income in the area. In addition, the participants in the training will be able to serve as a valuable source of knowledge in terms of local handicrafts.