|A bar of soap, a razor knife and a steady hand = one beautiful flower|
There are a couple of shops that have awards from O.T.O.P. on display, and those tend to be the more carefully done - and more realistic looking - examples of the craft. OTOP stands for "One Tambon (province) One Product", and is the name for an organization that makes an attempt at keeping a higher standard of quality for products on sale there. Naturally, my guess is it's catch as catch can, but my experience has been better quality and a fair price at places displaying what appears to be an official OTOP sign or award.
The little hut in the lobby of the Asia Hotel is home to the best soap craftspeople I've found so far, and usually has a few hundred to select from. If someone knows of another spot they like, please leave word in the comments section. It's a family operation, and the father is the prime artisan, but others do nice work, too. The Asia is joined by a walkway to the Ratchathewi BTS station, so it's easy to get to. The shop is open during the daytime only. Normally they don't want photos taken, but after a number of visits over the years the owner remembers me and was fine with a bit of publicity here.
It must be tedious work, and any fragile medium is prone to mistakes that you can't call for a "do over" on, but a steady hand and some concentration pay off in this skill.
|The shop house within the Asia Hotel lobby|
If you're in the area, drop in and check out their selection. I think you'll be pleased.