Atthaphon Meephan, a 3rd year student majoring in textiles design, Faculty of Fine and Applied Arts, Thammasat University received the first prize in the silk pattern design contest with the work “Thong Rai, Thong Na (Paddy Fields)” from The 4th Next Big Silk Designer Contest organized by the Association of Thai Silk and Culture Promotion that presents creative aesthetic through practical design, extending into business and as well encourage people to wear more Thai fabrics. It also promotes Thai fabric entrepreneurs to remain and grow sustainably. The submitted works must have a blend of applied design harmoniously and beautifully, and with contemporary Thai identity. This contest is opened to students from both public and private institutions nationwide, and is honoured by a panel of experts and famous designers of Thailand as judges.
Atthaphon Meephan revealed that the process of designing the fabric pattern of the work “Paddy Fields” started from searching for photos that match his main inspiration. After that, he began sketching the shape that he was interested in from all the information gathered, then reduce the shapes into a graphic pattern and bring each part of the shapes to create a pattern template. After obtaining the pattern template, the pattern template was then stitched together by aligning, reversing, alternating, or constantly rotating, etc., then choose to use local varieties of Thai silk from Sisaket Province that is, a thin silk thread. This type of silk is selected because the thread is smooth and glossy, making the fabric weaved out light and shiny.
Atthaphon said that this work was inspired by the agricultural work of the farmers, namely terrace rice planting in the northern region. Therefore, the rectangular shape of the rice fields is stacked in layers, blended with the curving mountain paths which then refined to become a new pattern that is more contemporary. The yellow colour of the paddy grains is used as a reminiscence of abundance. Then bolden up using brown and black colour of minerals in the soil on the mountains which give a sense of strength and durability, therefore becoming a fabric that reflects the power of the strength of agriculture that continues to create fertility at all time.
In the future, this fabric pattern will be used in production by the local communities in order to generate and distribute income to the local people and use the fabrics to various design products such as bags which may matched together with other materials such as leather, canvas, or making costumes, etc.
“The reason behind the judges’ preference and decision for us to be the winning team is probably the use of contrasting shades which make the canvas more dimensional, and that the shape of the pattern has been refined to be more contemporary and not overly complicated. By winning the prize, I feel happy as it is one of the opportunities that allow us to create works and present to everyone. It makes us learn more things such as task planning, time allocation and errors that occur during the progress, and further use it to develop other works to be better in the future.”Atthaphon concluded.
In addition, other students from the Faculty of Fine and Applied Arts, Thammasat University namely, Punyawee Chantorn, 3rd year student majoring in fashion design with the work title: “Mother’ Forest” won the second runner-up award for Thai Silk Dress Design Contest, named and Panuwat Chansiri, 3rd year student majoring in fashion design with the work title: ‘Thai Fighting Fish’ won the honorable mention award for Thai Silk Dress Design Contest from the same project as well.