I/The Vietnamese Lacquerware History:
Vietnamese ancestors have used natural resin extracted from lacquer trees to produce lacquer products to serve every day life for thousands of years and many lacquer products have been found in ancient tombs.
However, it did not become an official economic sector until the Le Nhan Tong Dynasty (1443- 1460), initiated by Mr. Tran Thuong Cong. After he died, a temple was built in memory of him and for recognition of his great achievements. This temple still exists now in Binh Trong village, Thuong Tin District, Ha Tay province nearby Hanoi City. This man is considered Vietnam’ s father founder of the lacquer industry.
In general, before 1930, lacquer was just produced in small quantity by individual families and was used by households and sold to temples and pagodas in Vietnam.
Vietnamese lacquer industry became known to the outside world and made an echo after Artist Dinh Van Thanh participated in an international trade show in Paris in 1930 in an attempt to promote the industry.
Between 1954 and 1990, under the centrally -planed economy, lacquer production was mainly implemented by Handicraft Co- Operatives and just exported to some Socialist countries like the Soviet Union, Poland, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania ,etc. However, designs and colours were poor. After 1990, as Vietnam opened it’s door to the outside world and implemented the market economy, the industry has been very rapidly growing in terms of both quality and production scale and exporting to many diffirent countries across the world. Designs and colours are now getting increasingly diverse and in general every customer demand can be met.
II/ Materials for production.
The base/core/inside materials used for our lacquerware production are from many different kinds of materials such as ceramic, bamboo, compressed paper, fibre glass, composite, MDF, plywood, fibre wood, coconut shell etc. and different kinds of local timbers such as Jackfruit wood. etc, or of a combination of such materials. Depending on specific shapes and sizes of products or customers' requirements.
Other materials for production includes natural lacquer resin extracted from lacquer trees, special Japanese lacquer paint that is manufactured for just lacquer production, sawdust, finely ground rock, fine cotton gauze, some other additives such as cashew nut oil and alluvial soil exploited from the Red River that flows through Hanoi City.
III/ Method of production:
Almost 100% of the whole production process is implemented by hand. Yet, nowadays machinery can be applied for some minor steps of the production process like polishing and the making of base products. However, there must be always people’s hands in all of the steps.
IV/ Major steps involved in the production process:
- The raw/base products are hand-examined. Any cracks, indentations and holes are sealed up with a mixture of natural lacquer resin and sawdust in order to strengthen the products, then naturally dry the products and then sharpen/sand the products surface with sandpaper.
- The products are covered with fine cotton gauze and one layer of a mixture of natural lacquer resin, sawdust, finely ground rock and alluvial soil in order to prevent the products from being cracked or bent, then naturally dry the products, and then sand the product surface with sandpaper.
- Apply another layer of a mixture of natural lacquer resin, sawdust and alluvial soil in order to make the product surface smooth, then naturally dry the products, and then sand them with sandpaper under water, and then dry the products again.
- Apply another layer of a mixture of natural lacquer resin or refined cashew nut oil and alluvial soil onto the product surface, then naturally dry the products, and then sand them under water with sandpaper, and then dry them again.
- Step 4 is repeated.
- Apply another layer of a mixture of refined cashew nut oil and weakened crude oil onto the product surface, then naturally dry the products and then apply another layer of a mixture of refined cashew nut oil and alluvial soil onto the product surface, and then naturally dry the products and then sand them under water by sandpaper, and naturally dry them up again.
- Apply another layer of refined cashew nut oil onto the product surface then naturally dry the products and then sand them under water by sandpaper and then naturally dry them up again.
- Seal up all holes on the product surface with a mixture of cashew nut oil and alluvial soil then naturally dry the products and then sand them under water by sandpaper and then naturally dry them up.
- Step 7 is repeated.
- Step 7 is repeated.
- Hand-colour the products, Apply silver onto them or paint them to required colours and drawings.
+ Color the products in plain/solid color: Hand-colour the products to required colours then naturally dry them and then shand them under water by sandpaper and then naturally dry them up.
+ Paint drawings on products: Hand-draw to required drawings then color products to required colors and then naturally dry them and then sand them under water by sandpaper and then naturally dry them up.
+ Apply silver onto products: Apply a thin layer of cashew nut oil then apply a layer of white silver leaves onto the product surface and then naturally dry them up and then color the products to required colors (if required) and then naturally dry them, sand them under water by sandpaper and then naturally dry them up
- Apply onto the products with a layer of special Japanese lacquer paint then dry them and then sand them under water by sandpaper and then naturally dry them up
- Step 12 is repeated.
- Step 12 is repeated.
- The products are polished by machine and bare hand where applicable with a special local black wax
- Apply a layer of wax called Cana onto the product surface then clean the products with cotton gauze in order to make the products shiny and clean
- Hinges and hooks are fitted (if required).
- Company logo is silk screened onto the products where applicable (if required).
- Wrapping and packing the products for delivery
Steps 1 to 5 are sanded by rough sandpaper, steps 6-10 are sanded by more fine sandpaper and steps 11-14 are sanded by fine sandpaper.
.Steps 1-14, each step takes one day to get dry up and another one day to be completed.
V/ LACQUER CARE:
By following a few simple precautions, you can enjoy the beauty of your lacquerwares for many years. Here are a few general instructions to assist you in maintaining the beauty and quality of lacquer products.
1. Keep out of direct sunlight and away from extreme heat. Ultraviolet light and extreme heat will fade the surface of the lacquerware and allow fine cracks to form. Once light or heat damage has occurred, other kinds of deterioration can happen as well, and the beauty and life-span of your products will be reduced.
2. Do not stack on top of other lacquer products.
3. Do not put hard & sharp objects onto the products like knives or forks. Do not put heavy objects onto the products. Otherwise, your products may get scratched or cracked.
4. Do not regularly soak, use hot water to clean your products or place your lacquer products in wet places for a long time. Otherwise, they may get swollen.
5. Lacquer is a delicate material and may be scratched or marred. Clean only with a very soft, damp cloth (paper towels are too abrasive). Do not use any chemicals to clean your lacquerware products. Instead, use a dry or damp & soft cloth to gently wipe it down. After using your lacquerware with food, you can clean with mild soap and warm water, then rinse and then gently wipe with soft cloth and finally dry them immediately after cleaning. If small/slight scratches appear, Turtle Wax or similar car wax may be gently applied to the lacquer to restore the finish.
6. Do not insert into dish washers, electrical ovens or micro ovens.
7. Store in dry cool place. Your lacquer products are susceptible to damage from very dry conditions or fluctuating humidity. A balanced climate that is between 60% and 70 % humidity is recommended to store your lacquer products in order to ensure long life.
See more :>>