For the best Bhutanese artistry, you will find anywhere, visit the Craft Gallery, a store located in the old Textile Museum in Thimphu. The shop showcases some of the finest work by local artists, and the most you will find in one place anywhere.
The Craft Gallery is a project of the Gyalyum Charitable Trust, which was instituted last year by Queen Mother Sangay Choden Wangchuck. The Gyalyum Charitable Trust is a project to create a sustainable enterprise in Bhutan. As a chapter of the trust, the gallery will work with local artists, will promote and develop products as well as create visibility for Bhutanese arts and crafts around the world.
The Graft Gallery is open from Monday to Saturday, 10:00 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. The gallery is across the street from the Bhutan Development Bank, and behind the Dept. of Revenue and Customs.
Traditional arts and crafts of the Bhutanese people are on display and available for purchase. Artists involved are also creating modern works to express their own art. The Craft Gallery's mission statement says it will promote all kinds of Bhutanese arts and crafts and work toward marketing them. They will seek new avenues for the art, and they hope to generate some money to promote the development of even more art.
They are hoping to open the shop up to more international customers. There you may find traditionally made textiles created the way they have been for hundreds of years. Traditional items also include wood carvings and ceramic products. Tote bags and handmade jewellery are also available. There are wooden pots made the way they were made more than 100 years ago, as well as some more modern woodworking artistry.
Traditional masks and traditional Daphne paper, are also made by artists at the shop. Incense and various traditional cleansing powders of the Butan people are also made locally. There are embroidery products as well as shawls or scarfs.
The art has all been made by hand, and that gives each piece of a unique sense of its own. Some items have been imported but most are made by hand by local artists.
Promoting the arts is one of the Queen Mother's priority, supporting the preservation of traditional art like textile weaving and woodworking. She wants to preserve the rich cultural heritage of the country. The Craft Gallery is one of several initiatives the Queen has started to promote the well being of the people. She serves as the president of the Gyalyum Trust.