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kaan salak dun (การสลักดุน)

Thai. ‘Relief sculpturing’ or ‘embossed design carving’. A metalworking technique in which a malleable metal is ornamented by hammering it on both sides, in order to shape it in the desired form or required design. The term is often used for the production of embossed silverwork, though in truth, it can be used for any type of metal or even other materials, thus when it concerns silver and to be specific it may also be called kaan salak dun ngun (การสลักดุนเงิน), with the word ngun meaning ‘silver’. This art form is in English known as repoussť and chasing, in which the French term repoussť refers to the hammering from the reverse side whereas chasing refers to the tooling used to refine the design on the front of the work, by sinking the metal. In Thailand, the technique is often performed on sheets of metal, which are called phaen phaap dun (แผ่นภาพดุน), meaning ‘embossed sheet illustration’, whereas other embossed artifacts are described more generally as salak dun (ลักดุน), i.e. ‘embossed designs’. Often it represents characters or themes from the Ramakien (fig.). Also called kae salak dun and kaan salak dun loha (การสลักดุนโลหะ), i.e. ‘metal relief sculpturing’. In general, the making of silver objects, especially bowls and vessels, is referred to as kaan tham kreuang ngen (การทำเครื่องเงิน). See also POSTAGE STAMP and TRAVEL PICTURE.