Wandering around the southern part of Mandalay’s central grid, looking for a pagoda that I never found, I came across a row of workshops where buddha statues were being made. The air was thick with dust as workmen used circular saws to cut away extraneous rock and reveal the buddha figures hidden within. Women cleaned and polished and provided the finishing touches. Half-finished statues, their bodies perfectly crafted but their heads still unformed, clustered together in the morning sun. Others, victims of some error or flaw, lay abandoned amid piles of rubble. In other workshops, craftsmen busied themselves with making gold-plated ornaments, such as the conical htis that sit on top of Burmese pagodas.