Lacquerware Methodology

In a workshop surrounding a shaded garden on the outskirts of Siem Reap, a French master craftsman has been inspiring and teaching young artisans how to recover traditional skills lost to them during the Cambodian Civil War.

The noise and dust on the streets seems like a world away in this oasis. The workshop is a sanctuary of quiet and calm, always filled with smiles but concentration is key for the patient precision required, whether it is in the creation of the lacquerware, the minute placement of eggshell or fine strips for marquetry.

1

RUBBER TREES & WOOD CARVING

The Para Rubber tree now has more plantations in South East Asia than in the rest of the world. A fast growing tree with wood that is durable, flexible, strong and resistant.  It is the perfect base for our lacquerware, eggshell and marquetry products.

Artisans use thin layers of rubber wood which are glued together and left to bond for a week before they can begin work on the carving.  Following this, the bowls are sanded to a completely smooth finish.

2

LAYERS OF LACQUER

We use only vegetal lacquer; a sap tapped from Asian lacquer trees.  Before applying the lacquer, mineral dyes are added to the sap to create the required colour or colours.

The process of producing high quality lacquerware is lengthy, with layer after layer being applied to create the intense depth of colour.  Each layer must dry before the next one is added.  This can take weeks sometimes months to complete and dry.

3

SANDING & POLISHING

Some of our most beautiful products allow the multi layers of lacquer to speak for themselves.  There is a depth to the colour which is testament to the number of layers painstakingly applied.  Other products will have a variety of different coloured layers.  Before the final layer of lacquer, the earlier layers will have been sanded down to reveal the different colours .  Alternatively, there are flecks of gold, or artwork or leaves applied before the final layer.

4

BESPOKE

All of our products can be made to order with small design alterations or whole new designs to suit your projects. Please get in touch to discuss your products.