This magnificent lidded jar is crafted and lacquered by Subin Tositarat. The lid and round body are engraved and painted by hand with multiple colored floral motifs. After the piece is carved, it is receives a gilded lacquer coating, in itself a long, laborious process. Then, in an engraving technique called lai kad, (dug-out pattern), the decorative motifs are etched freehand with a sharp tool. A combination of lacquer, peanut oil, coloring agent, and water is rubbed onto the surface. It is left to dry and polished with rice husks, the color remaining only in the engravings. The process is identical for each different color.
About the Artist: "I used to be employed by an insurance company where I worked to the best of my abilities, even though I did not especially like that job. I also secretly cherished the dream to go back to northern Thailand and work with my cousin at his wood carving company. This dream came true ten years later. I took my time to look around and I realized that lacquer work was what I liked. My cousin let me set up a lacquer workshop his workshop's premises, then, I bettered my techniques and knowledge with local artisans for about two years. Now, I teach people and competitors and lacquer specialists employing them have said they are the most skilled. That is my greatest pride. Do you know that a small piece of lacquer ware needs about three months to be completed? In my workshop, we begin our crafting process during the winter season. In summer we coil and lathe the bamboo, cut and carve the wood and wait for the rainy season to pass. You see, our basic materials have to prove themselves against the test of humidity. Moreover lacquer drying during a humid season is bound to melt once a drier one comes. That is why it takes such a long time to handcraft lacquer wares."
The Subin Tositarat Artisan Collection is brought to you by Novica in Association with National Geographic. This beautiful piece was handcrafted by Subin Tositarat in Thailand. An artisan story card will be included with your purchase.