"Hello, my name is Sumalee and I come from Thailand, where the art of fruit and vegetable carving started. Nowadays this wonderful skill is known throughout the world, but here I hope to be able to introduce you to some of the delights of the traditional fruit and vegetable carving of my country.
In these pages I try to give examples of the enormous variety of carving – from ornate displays to honour a king down to delicately carved fruit for presentation at a buffet. I hope you will enjoy seeing how a watermelon, pumpkin or sweet potato can be transformed into something both beautiful and meaningful by means of a sharp knife – and a certain amount of skill.
I live now in London, but am fortunate to have had a childhood growing up in a village in Chacheongsao province, central Thailand. There my parents’ garden was full of fruit for most of the year, and although I had only a basic grasp of fruit carving at that time, I learned to appreciate the wide range of varieties, colours and textures that nature provides.
Only when I came to live in Britain did I think to turn that love of the wonderful produce of nature into something for all to enjoy. I am completely self-taught in carving, though I honour my teachers both in Thailand and England for showing me the way to the patience and calm without which elegant carving is virtually impossible to achieve."