Lacquerwork is a thriving industry in Myannmar and Sheila shared on Facebook some photos of the process involved so we thought it might be nice to share them here for a wider audience to enjoy.
Yes it’s for tourists, but the production is genuine and the process interesting to see.
The process begins with weaving a bowl out of fine strands of bamboo
A different shaped bowl is made with thicker strips of bamboo.
These little pots have been dipped in the black lacquer sap. The process is repeated up to 24 times for the very finest of lacquer ware. Drying time in between is crucial.
This chap smooths the lacquer by hand.
This piece is ready for decoration. A design is being intricately etched into the layers of lacquer.
Real gold leaf is then applied to this piece.
Then it is rinsed. At the end of the process the water will contain small particles of gold. It is sold to people who then sift out the gold dust and thereby earn a living. Nothing is wasted here.
This is a large urn standing over a meter high decorated with elephants in gold leaf. It is currently being dried. It will be very expensive. It is also relatively light. This is exactly why lacquerware was such a popular import from China all those centuries ago.
Light, strong and functionable compared to clay pots.