If you have cruised around our website and our product selection, you will find the word “lacquer” gets mentioned a lot. In fact, lacquer is very dear to our heart here at The Art of Beverage. All our wine holders are made of lacquer wood material, thus it is very fitting this time around for us to talk a little bit about lacquer.
Lacquer is harvested from the extremely poisonous sap of a tree named Rhus verniciflua, which is commonly known as the varnish tree. Derived from the Sanskrit word-Laksha, which means wax, the term lacquer relates to the Lac insect both in terms of its massive number as well as its resin like secretion. It was used in ancient India and nearby areas as an application for providing lustrous finish to wood.
The evidences relate the use of lacquer technique as an artistic craft to the times of Shang Dynasty in China. However, some lacquer coated items had been discovered from the Neolithic age in China and Jomon period in Japan, where it was majorly used as waterproofing agent for wood and bamboo. Lacquering is a part of the traditional Chinese art, finding its origin in the prehistoric art era. With the rise of development of items using lacquer technique in China, trade relations started materializing with countries in central and eastern Asia. At the same time, Chinese expertise of the technique had a great influence on its use in India, Japan and Korea. Cosmetic boxes, household items, kitchen items and music instruments were some of the objects that were lacquered at that time.
From being a technique to develop art forms to a highly valued method of decorating objects, lacquering has come a long way. Having the properties of a natural plastic, it is highly resistant to acid, water, and to a degree, heat as well. After extracting raw lacquer from the poisonous tree sap, it is heated to eliminate impurity and moisture. After this process, lacquer in its purest form is used as a glossy coating on the surface of wood, metal and other materials for improving the aesthetics.
The skills of lacquer artists are vital to the attractiveness and durability of the lacquer products. For best results, several layers of lacquer is applied to the material. To achieve the spectacular finish similar in Chinese art forms, an artist needs to make sure that the lacquer is smoothly applied.
The process from the extraction of lacquer to its application is one that requires immense care attention throughout. At The Art of Beverage, we make sure that our lacquered wine bottle holders have beautiful finish and are durable. We work with excellent lacquer artists, so you can be rest assured that our products will not only be highly functional, but also aesthetically beautiful.