Stories in the stone

I am headed back into the same countryside to photograph the locals of a fishing village with a friend and fellow traveling photographer Alex Olyeynikov. On our way there he reminds me that we are approaching the site where we had seen the boys working just a few days earlier. We decide to pull in and take a closer look and just maybe we can create a small story.

For the next two hours I am completely taken back by the scenes I am presented with. These boys and men are incredible artist and by far the most talented and patient craftsmen I have ever met. With projects that are as big as small elephants, they will carve and chip away for up to six months on one piece. The elephant in the image above is one of two ordered for an unnamed high ranking government officials home in the capital city of Phnom Penh. This particular piece will be sold for $5000 USD.

During our visit we are walked through the workshop and introduced to multiple workers on a range of different projects. The level of detail these men are able to achieve is in incredible and is a reminder of the rich history and traditions that have lasted centuries here in Cambodia. The tools and techniques used are nearly the same used to achieve the amazing stone work of the Angkor Wat and surrounding temples 0ver 1000 years ago.