PRODUCTION PROCESSES OF HA THAI LACQUERWARE – Vietnamese tradional lacquer village .
Ha Thai Bamboo lacquer Co., LTD has been one of the most reliable and professional manufacturers and exporters dealing with many kinds of Vietnam’s traditional handicraft products.
The company has been cooperating with a lot of traditional handicraft villages throughout the country, mainly in the North of Vietnam for the production of attractive items with good standard and excellent quality. With such villages as Ha Thai lacquer village, Cat Dang coiled bamboo village, Boi Khe mother of pearl and eggshell inlaid village, etc., we have offered an elective and ever-evolving selection of products ranging from Home decorative items, Kitchen and bath accessories to Gifts and hotel accessories, which all obtained very good comments from our customers in homeland & overseas markets.
With Ha Thai’s lacquerware products, whether little artworks like a eggshell cup, a bowl, a flower vase or bigger ones like a painting or a piece of windscreen, the production requires elaborateness in every step.
Choosing the materials:
It’s the first procedure to select the right materials that create natural beauty combined with the high durability of lacquerware, which will retain its beauty for many years.
The most prominent material – lacquer is a resin of the lacquer tree planted mostly in the Northern Vietnamese province of PhuTho and has its scientific name: Rhus Succedanea. Once hardened and turned brown in the air after extracted, the lacquer forms a lustrous durable surface that is imperious to moisture, insects, and oxidization making it ideal for preserving materials, such as wood and bamboo. From the natural lacquer, the lacquer artist will mix it with some mineral pigments to produce other kinds of lacquer: cockroach – colored lacquer, lacquer for sticking mother – of -pearl and eggshell and lacquer for covering on the top.
Besides, we choose the right material of support such as bamboo, MDF (Medium density Fiber wood), cardboard, composite, ceramics, etc. and decorative materials like eggshell and mother of pearl. The materials must be nice shaped, durable and have competitive price to meet the requirements of customers.
The Processes Of Creating Ha Thai’s Lacquerware:
Ha Thai lacquer art is an extremely labor – intensive and time-consuming work. Every Ha Thai lacquerware usually goes through 12 to 20 stages for not less than 45 days regardless it is a large picture or just some small lacquerware pieces such as bowls or even coasters. There are actually 3 kinds of lacquerware: Mother of pearl, eggshell, painting or any of the combination of these three.
In addition to inheriting traditional experience from their forefathers, diligence, thirst for learning and creativeness of today’s workers have brought about new development steps for the village. In nowadays lacquer painting production, artisans in Ha Thai have applied sophisticated techniques in paint blending, adjusting paint coating process in order to reduce unnecessary steps, creating new types of paint which are more shinning and more eye-catching.
Creating the mold of the artworks:
From the first step, in which a rough object is created, the artisans have to be very precise so as to have shinning and fine products.
First of all, we must select the suitable materials, whether MDF (Medium density Fiber wood), bamboo, cardboard, rattan, composite or ceramics, for every Ha Thai lacquerware. For example, we choose rose, cherry or walnut wood for the furniture, screens or jewelry boxes,; jack fruit wood for boxes, bowls, plates and plywood for paintings. Most of our art of lacquer vases and sculptures are made of resin with nice shape.
The materials, especially MDF and bamboo, are well treated with a layer of natural lacquer and a piece of gauze to be harder, against curvy, crack, broken and rotting by insects with traditional or modern methods.Then all the material is put in low humidity area to avoid curvy and broken when it come to low humidity market.
Covering the mold:
The objects that need to be lacquered are covered with pure cotton cloth and coat them with a mixture of natural resin, clay, stone powder, sawdust powder, etc., to make sure they are protected from shrinkage, and warping.
Brushing with lacquer, sanding and retouching alternatedly:
Then the raw material will bear 5 more layers of lacquer to hide the gauze and to reach the necessary thickness. However, in between each layers of lacquer, the lacquer artist must wait until the lacquer get dried and then rub it in water and polish them by hand. The work will be repeated many times (sometimes up to 16 lacquer layers or more) until the lacquerware becomes totally smooth. We use Japanese sanding paper for dry and wet sanding and retouching also after each step. Sanding plays an importance role in manufacturing lacquer. Whenever the surface of product is smooth and plane it come to the next step.
Decorating (painting and inlaying) process
Once a smooth surface of the artworks has been achieved, decorative layers will be added which is full of colors.We choose the finishing materials following the client’s requirements. We apply the eggshell, mother of pearl, metalic leaf (silver leaf), coconut or colors for solid lacquer…. on the products. After decorated, the lacquerware will be filled with many layers of lacquer and rubbed in water until it becomes totally smooth and undergoes the final stage of polishing.
The Vietnamese lacquerware artists will paint directly on the ready – treated wood by using the mineral pigments mixing with lacquer. At present, Ha Thai villagers often use paint mixed with cashew nut oil and a certain proportion of alluvium so as to obtain a product with desired color and glossy grade to make it stable for more than 400 years.
Product drying consumes a lot of time and efforts because only a little dust or a tiny grain of sand might damage surface of a product. Because of this, many lacquer painting workshops in Ha Thai spare a large and airy hall for product drying. In all necessary steps to create a finished lacquer painting product, almost all artisans in the village affirm that the paint coat and painting style are decisive to its beauty. Paint should be made in a way to get proper “hue” and be fine and shinning. This is really an art.
For mother of pearl lacquerware, a variety of mother of pearl from the sea will be cut into different shapes with the thickness of about 2 mm each. The Vietnamese lacquerware artist then draws the designs over its surface and uses a coping saw to cut them into small pieces, which are eventually gathered and inlaid on the lacquerware. Once being inlaid, the mother of pearl design is a bit thicker than the surface of the wood. Hence, the lacquerware artist will apply a mixture of natural lacquer and plaster to build up the lacquerware surface step by step until it reaches the same level.
For egg-shell inlayed lacquerware, duck eggshell is specially applied and it must be the shell of the ducks already hatched because of its thickness and whiteness. The eggshell will be sticked onto the lacquerware following the ready – made design then filled with ten layers of lacquer and rubbed in water.
Finishing steps and packaging at Ha Thai Co., LTD:
After accomplishing main processes at Ha Thai craft village, the products undergo an investigation process by Quality control staffs of Ha Thai bamboo lacquer Co., LTD. Only when the products comply with the strict standards, they are carried to Ha Thai factory for the finishing stages such as fixing, polishing and then careful packing into the finished product following production lines, strict quality double-check of the products and then are shipped to customers.
Polishing the lacquerware:
The lacquer ware, after many times rubbing in water is smooth but not shiny. Therefore, the lacquerware artists apply the palm of the hand together with abrasive as diverse as charcoal and iron oxide to polish the lacquerware. Polishing hardened lacquer with such materials & technique finally brings the lacquerware surface to a high gloss.
The packaging process:
– All the label, barcode, shipping mark will be printed according to customer requirement and approval.
– All products will be packed individually with paper, white foam into 3 plies carton box for inner and 5 plies of carton boxes for outer. All of outer carton will not be over 20kg. Furthermore, we can pack according to the special instruction of customer.
– We use to pack more special for ceramic support of vase, sculpture, mirror frame… that meet standard of drop test.
– All the carton will be put in pallet on line of area in our ware house.
– The loading machines and workers will arrange the good in to the container with the well control of security.
– Close and ship the container with safety.
Strict Quality control:
Quality control is done carefully after every step from choosing the input materials, whenever the quality is accepted it come to next step. In production processes, we usually lacquer about 12 to 20 layers on the surface of products, each time our formula will be changed.
We use Japanese sanding paper for dry and wet sanding and retouching.
Also, specific colors is imported or traditionally created so that they can meet the standards of foodsafe and the surface coverings contain less than 0.06 percent of lead.
All the chemical paint and resin used for the making lacquer were tested by SGS Hong Kong Ltd – Laboratory testing center with the conclusion that Ha Thai’s Lacquerware is friendly with human health & environment.
To demonstrate quality of our products, we tested with each kind of products. And Our products are passed with foodsafe by BureuVeritas Consumer Products Services of Vietnam.
For further information of quote or samples, pls contact us at information below:
HA THAI BAMBOO LACQUER CO., LTD
Add: Lot 13, Ha Thai village, Duyen Thai commune, Thuong Tin district, Ha Noi, Vietnam