October 20, 2010

Sanyi, “Duck DIY”

“The wood carving was no longer the closed-door skill because of the copy right concerns; it was successfully transformed to a tourism industry and became a family oriented leisure activity in Taiwan.” I was watching a mini documentary TV program in an early morning, and was touched by what the owner of the “Shuangfeng Wood Duck Factory” said. (also known as "Sanyi, Duck DIY" 三義鴨箱寶) I wished that I could visit this place and see what I saw on TV. Coincidently, Kristen asked me if I would like to do the DIY color painting activity in Sanyi. We were on our way to Sanyi by train the next day! Right off at the Sanyi Station, turn to the left and walk for 15 minutes, the factory is right at the corner on a slightly uphill.

Sanyi is the wood carving hometown and has gathered the most skillful wood carving Masters in Taiwan. "Shuangfeng Wood Duck Factory" has been famous for its wood ducks since 1963. If you used to have or still have a “Wood Duck” decoration at home, it might have come from here, since this factory used to be the largest and first wood duck manufacturer for the US, Europe, and Japan.

I was attracted by a variety of colorful wood carving figures once we entered the store. On the walls, the history of the factory, and the story of where the Wood Duck came from were posted.

“Wood Duck” was made to trap the ducks in the western countries. During hunting, hunters let the painted wood ducks float on the water to attract the real ducks to come down. Besides the trapping purpose, “Wood Duck” was also a collectable item by wealthy families in the west.

Due to the high-rise of the labor and material costs, “Shuangfeng Wood Duck Factory” was no longer exporting their products. In 2002, with the government and local organizations’ supports, it was re-organized, opened its door, and became a tourist and family leisure place.

After strolling through the store, we were ready to make the products next door. A wide open space that fills with students’ desks and chairs can fit 240 people at a time for the DIY color painting activity. A variety of the non-painted wood animal figures were displayed on the shelves. To choose one to paint was the hardest part since they were all cute and irresistible..

Finally, the selection was made: Kristen selected a “Goose”, and I a “Frog”. The fee needs to be paid first before painting starts. Frog is NT$300 (around US$9) and Goose NT $200 (around US$6). There is no cost to visit the store and factory other than the fee for the DIY activity. For group activities, reservation is required.

Six acrylic paints with 2 different sizes of paint brushes, a color tray, and a water bucket were provided. The instructor gave some basic instructions including how to mix colors, and then we were on our own.

The foundation color needed to be applied evenly first, and was let dry with the hair dryer. After drying, the designed colors were added and details drawn afterwards. Before adding any color, it needed to be completely dried. It sounded and looked very simple, perhaps similar to an elementary art work; however, we spent almost 4 hours to complete them. One recommendation from us for the visitors is to bring your own nice brush if you would like to work on the details. The brushes they provided were too rough to paint the details.

Here is Kristen’s "Saisiyat" Goose, and my “Tummy on fire” frog!

It needed to be sprayed with the clear coating before sent it to the convention dryer.

This is one of the successful industry transformation stories in Taiwan. The new look of the factory has not only promoted its business effectively to attracts the younger generations, but also provided fun and knowledge activity to individual or families. A great place with a reasonable cost to spend a half day or a day!

A short video clip below is showing a completely body "washed” my froggy! :)

“Sanyi,Duck DIY” website

Address: No.176, Chonghe Rd., Sanyi Township, Miaoli County

Telephone: 037-872076 Read More


London Caller said...

Did you have fun making Kermit?
How come Kermit is on fire?
Did you feed him Sichuan cuisine? Ha ha... Bad joke!

You see those cats in the 4th photo?
I bought one in Copenhagen years ago! Ha ha... Ah... it's actually from Taiwan?!

micki and kristen said...

@Londoncaller- Your kitty might have come from here too!
See! I told Kermit not to eat too much spicy food, he did not listen and that's why~~~~~ ... ;0)

The Nomadic Pinoy said...

I can see why this attracts the really creative type of people. You get that chance to customize your own paint job - however, I probably can't stand doing it for four hours hahaha!

London Caller said...

Ha ha... Kermit couldn't resist because Taiwanese food is too delicious!
By the way, did you forget to "dot" Kemit's eyes?
Pupils are usually black?!

shloke said...

WOW! This is AWESOME!It has been a long time since my last art and craft class. I would LOVE to have my very own hand painted wooden chicken Sanyi DIY :) Okay, that just looks like it was a whole heap of fun!

Take me there!....when mylo in Taiwan :)

fufu said...

omg...i really gotta plan my itinerary when i go to taiwan again...so many nice stuff to explore there...damn thanks for sharing :) hehehe i wanna get few stuff back home :)

micki and kristen said...

@The Nomadic Pinoy- Oh, You don’t have to stay for 4 hours. A guest finished his within an hour. I think we were just too picky in details...haha!

@Londoncaller- Ha! Kermit did not let me finish his pupils because that made him tickled, and he said that he just wanted to go play… Haha! I enjoy making this Kermit story~~

@Mylo- Sure! It’s our pleasure to take you there! You will have lots of fun, and don’t forget to bring your own nice brushes too!

@Fufu- Ha! Sounds like you need to bring a large suitcase! Will definitely like to see you here too!

Rafael Lam said...

These Ducks and Frogs are so cute! Here is a really interesting place for me! I also want to DIY my down design wood carving!
I need to remember Sanyi next time I visit Taiwan, so many interesting places you've introduce, I need to plan a route to get them all!

Zhu said...

I was a big Kermit fan when I was young and I enjoyed the frog pictures!

Wood is such a noble material... I like anything made of wood.

micki and kristen said...

@Rafael- Thanks! You will definitely have lots of fun here! :)

@Zhu- Wood craft and furnitures are my favorite as well. Thanks!

London Caller said...

>Is it still a bit early for all the leaves changing color at this time?

No, it's quite normal. In fact, most trees are bald now.
It's getting colder and colder.
The sun sets at 5.30pm recently...

Next week, 4.30pm will be dark.

micki and kristen said...

@Londoncaller- So your daylight saving time starts next week..The daytime is getting shorter and shorter..

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