Yoeurn Yun, 33

Woodcarver

Although I was a stone carver for many years, I am now working as a wood carver. The two crafts might seem similar but they actually have very different processes. In general, stone is easier to carve, wood is more fragile and breaks easily when you carve the details. However, the problem with stone carving is that the stone can be quite expensive and difficult to transport. It also takes more time to finish a stone sculpture.

I came from Bean Teay Srey district and after I finished elementary school I helped my parents on their farm. Whenever I had time I sold coconuts on the streets of Siem Reap. I have always been fascinated by carving sculptures, so in 2001 I finally decided to become an apprentice at a stone carver’s artisan workshop. There were 10 of us studying there.

I worked as a stone carver for about 15 years. Having a lot of experience with this craft, I wanted to learn a new skill, so I recently taught myself how to carve wood. Last year, my brother and I started our own wood carving business. We are very dedicated to carving and are working very hard. Until recently, we were only working on commission; clients would come with their own wood and give us instructions about what they wanted us to make. This is why we decided to join AHA, we wanted to expand our business. We needed more clients and a better space for our workshop. Actually, since last year we have grown – four of our cousins have joined us and we are currently training them.