Every Paraw World miniature is a sculpture. Each design on the sailboat is about colors talking to each other, a delicate balance between painting techniques and delicate precision.
While Paraw World’s vessels are small, they are really no different from life-sized paraws. The latter are made of different types of wood including Philippine mahogany or lawaan, basa and bamboo to make the bangka (main hull), the katig (double outriggers on each side), and the layag (sails). Our miniatures are made of different types of wood as well.
To find craftsmen to make them, we talked to woodcrafters and builders of actual paraws on the mainland. This was the foundation to make connections with locals and finally find the suppliers we work with today.
Some suppliers that we originally engaged had to learn a completely new skillset and it took many trials and errors to get the best designs. It was a slow process but with that we also got to know the people and their families on a personal level, which is the most important part of our project.
Most of our suppliers are living a very simple life. Since not many new sailboats are built on a regular basis, their work is mainly on maintenance and repair of the existing boats, a work that’s neither stable nor pays much.
The craftsmen in Malay expertly cut, chisel, polish and glue together parts of the miniature boats. In the case of models with fabric sails, they sew them on the double masts.
Then they bring them to our studio artists. All locals, the youngest artist is only 22 years old. They submit their designs to Paraw World, which we then refine together, and paint on the boats. In their hands, the pieces wood that come from Malay become works of art that bring a smile to people who see them.
Our miniatures come in three sizes: small (length 28cm, width 18cm, height 27cm), medium (length 38, width 26cm, height 34cm) and large (length 49cm, width 34, height 41cm). Paraw World also offers customization. Customers can bring photos they want printed on the fabric sail or lettering and messages to be painted on the boat, and our studio artists will do it.
Come sail away with us!