The Ancient Craft Of Brick Making

Siem Reap: As part of its contribution to the preservation of the Khmer ancestral templea at Angkor, the Angkor Tile Handicraft Factory, located in Thmey village, Kien Sangker commune, Siem Reap province, has produced ancient bricks for renovation work on Angkorian temples. Theartisans started producing this type of brick in 1994 and adhere to the techniques provided by the temple repair experts.

Yin Lim, owner of the Angkor Tile factory, started the business in 1989, refining an old kiln for the business. He says the brick and tile production in his handicraft is made entirely of natural materials and the technique is ancient.

Yin Lim says that the production of ancient bricks to repair the temple uses 3 sizes. First is 1.6 cm by 23 cm by 11 cm, the second is 7.50 cm by 23 cm by 11 cm and the third 5.50 cm by 23 cm by 11 cm.

Yin Lim said that from 1994 and 1995, his products were trusted by expert repairmen. He said that foreign organizations, who cooperated with the Apsara Authority, ordered his ancient brick to repair Preah Vihear temple, and that the production provided technical advice and education to those institutions.

Mr. Saray Kimhour, Technical Officer of the Department of Conservation of the Temple in the Angkor Archaeological Park and the Archeological Preservation of the Apsara Authority, said that the Apsara Authority chose Yin Lim’s handicraft for the construction of the temple because the end products complied with the technical requirements. He said that, before selecting the craft, experts had visited the site directly, giving them technical advice.

The ancient specification of the old-fashioned bricks for repairing the temple are much thicker and better than a regular modern brick. The orders are based on the size and annual plan at each site, and the Apsara Authority’s repair contracts include the Preah Ko temple, the Bakong temple, the Lai temple, the mock temple, the Bat Chum. KBN

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