Clay Beads from Thailand
These unusual clay beads are made by craftswomen from a region in Northeastern Thailand, often referred to as Esarn. The area is basically a vast plain with poor soils and unreliable rains resulting in an agriculture which is often little above subsistence level; per capita incomes in rural areas are about $215.00 per year.
Most villagers are incredibly adept at various utilitarian and decorative arts and, obviously, some are very talented with clay. Clay bead work is part of a tradition spanning 600 years.
Each bead is crafted by hand, one piece at a time, from native clay, then fired in back-yard kilns. These beads are purchased directly from the artisan or group that made them. All pieces will vary slightly in color, shape and size. If you look closely at each bead, you may be able to see the fingerprints from the hands of the actual artist.