Samui Wining & Dining
Souvenirs and gifts are in a whole new dimension at Chaweng’s Nature Art Gallery.

Souvenirs and gifts are in a whole new dimension at Chaweng’s Nature Art Gallery.We’re all on the lookout for gifts. Friends, family, loved-ones – all of us, everyone – need to show our love and affection this way. We can buy cheap and cheerful. Or we can go to somewhere that shines and shimmers. Like, for example, Nature Art Gallery, in Chaweng.


This isn’t your usual shop. In fact, there are few like it at all. It’s not just a gift shop, ‘though you can buy gifts. It has jewellery, yes. But bags and wallets and belts you’ll see, too. And there’s silver and gold. But then there’s leather, wood, the skins of snake, shark and stingray, pearls, and semi-precious stones – everything seems to shine. And then there are the crystals!


But, before you’ve even gone into the shop, it’ll grab you from outside on the street. It stands out – especially if you’re wandering around in the night. It glows. And it’s not the bright hit of neon, either. In fact, the warm, golden, mellow presence of Nature Art beams out in a soulful contrast to all the hard and glitzy places that surround it.


And, when you walk in, the whole world slows down. Really! The sounds from the street seem to melt away. The air seems clearer. You’ll be fazed at first; there are so many things all around. You’ll wander and scan, hesitantly, drawn this way and that, trying to take it all in. It’s not simply quiet: it’s more than just that. It’s actually calm.


You’ll see that people, coming in, slow their pace. Without knowing, they talk in hushed voices. It’s hard to pin down. But the fact remains: this isn’t just a shop full of treasures (and good ones, at that). It’s something strangely special, too.


Nature Art Gallery opened here in 2009. Partners, Michael Trav and Shai Nissim, were well-versed in the lore and energies of crystals and stones,having had more than 20 years’ experience of working with them. But this shop goes further.Souvenirs and gifts are in a whole new dimension at Chaweng’s Nature Art Gallery.


Michael and Shai have spent time in assembling what amounts to a collective of artisans and craftsmen, all in one place. You’ll find a plethora of jewellery. But there are samples of fine leatherwork, too. And then to the heart of the store: a huge range of raw crystals in all shapes and sizes, to buy as they are, or to be used in a setting of your choice.


Shai comes from a background which encompasses Reiki, massage and reflexology, and he’s attuned to the potential energy of the stones and crystals. “Used wisely, their energies can align you with more positive physical health,” he explained. “Each type of stone has its own properties, and when these are matched to the vibrations of your chakras, they can assist in healing physical ailments or in enhancing concentration, and in many other directions, too.” And if you’re unsure about any of this, then you’ll find some very friendly advice forthcoming from both Michael and Shai,
 together with free handbooks on the subject to guide you.


“We also design and make jewellery to order,” Michael explained. “There are some wonderful stones and crystals, like the blue amber, citrine or maldovite. And our matching wedding rings are very special and in some demand. One of the most beautiful stones is the wild pearl.
The usual ones are popular too, but each of the wild ones is unique. They are asymmetrical and lend themselves wonderfully to a more organic, artistic setting, usually in silver.”Souvenirs and gifts are in a whole new dimension at Chaweng’s Nature Art Gallery.


You’ll notice that all the jewellery falls broadly into two types. Firstly there are the simpler, more classical, geometric designs. But then you’ll see a plethora of swirling, organic designs inspired by the natural forms of bark, leaves, branches or roots. Nearly all of these are in silver and blended or combined or woven with quality leather cords or straps. This is not just artistic; it’ll last a lifetime.


But what’s unique at Nature Art is that there’s a workshop upstairs and anything you see can be altered, re-interpreted in gold instead of silver, or even completely crafted from scratch to your own design.


You can pick up pretty-looking jewellery almost anywhere. But the work here is individual, handmade, and crafted to last – even the leather and coral earrings and bracelets that start at just a few hundred baht. And also, thanks to the two shops right in the centre of Chaweng, whichever way you turn, you’re not far away from the power and the beauty of Nature’s Art!


Rob De Wet


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