Every piece tells a story

Posted on: October 1st, 2015 by jfdadmin No Comments

Every single piece of our Vietnamese lacquerware – whether it’s a tray, a bowl, a wastebasket or even a soap dish – tells a story.  It is lovingly handmade, extremely labor-intensive, time-consuming and costly.  No matter what size or shape, it will go through about 20 stages, spread across two months. And because it is handmade, each piece can be ever-so slightly different.

After a suitable piece of jack fruit, bamboo or MDF wood is selected, the lacquer is applied by hand, one day for drying, one day for wet sanding. This two day process is repeated many times  – often between 15 to 20 layers of lacquer may be applied – until the surface of the lacquerware achieves a glass-like smoothness.

Then, to achieve a glossy finish, the craftsmen will literally use the palm of their hand, together with abrasives to polish the lacquerware to gleaming perfection.  Most of the time, each piece is created so perfectly you can’t even notice that it’s handmade.  But because it is not made in a factory by machines, occasionally, there will be a slight imperfection.

The Vietnamese lacquer handicraft dates back to  the 11th century when it was used to decorate palaces, temples, pagodas and shrines. The handicraft was kept secret and passed down through lengthy apprenticeships from generation to generation. Outstanding master hands were awarded and even received titles by the King. Today, in Hanoi and other neighboring areas in Vietnam, many streets, quarters and villages remain, still preserving this coveted traditional lacquer production.

Lacquerware is remarkably resistant to water, acid, and heat. Each handmade piece is an everlasting example of enormous hard work, talent and patience.   We hope you enjoy our lacquerware as much as we do.



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