The materials we use are the same as those that have been used for centuries, but every craftsman's technique differs slightly, according to their own instincts and experience. This means that each piece of lacquer we produce is truly unique.
Our lacquer comes from trees in Phu Tho Province in Northern Vietnam and Nam Vang in Cambodia. Phu Tho lacquer is quick drying and hard, while Nam Vang lacquer is slow drying and soft and they are mixed together to make the finest lacquer. Cashew oil is also applied during the process to remove air bubbles. Our eggshell lacquer is made with crushed duck eggshells. These characteristics distinguish our lacquer from other examples and it's how we know our pieces will age beautifully for years to come.
A base layer of black lacquer is first applied and allowed to dry. The very best lacquer can only dry properly when allowed to do so - very slowly - in a humid environment. The piece is first wrapped in thin cotton gauze to prevent cracking before further layers of lacquer are applied.
Each layer dries in its own time before it is wet-sanded in fresh water with fine carbon paper until perfectly smooth. We repeat this step of the process over and over again (about fifteen layers of lacquer is usual). Finally, the color or decoration is meticulously applied.
There is no prescribed drying time, no set number of layers; regardless of the desired finish, from ultra matte to high gloss, the lacquer is applied and polished until it's perfect.
Handmade lacquer is a delicate material and may be scratched or marred. Clean only with a very soft, damp cloth (paper towels can be too abrasive). If scratches appear, Turtle Wax or similar car wax may be gently applied and polished to restore the finish.