An Artisan Tradition
Long associated with traditional Indian folk art, lac decorations such as jewelry boxes and picture frames are prized for their intricate display of craftsmanship and color. Lac pieces begin with lac resin, a natural resin that is secreted by insects onto tree branches, which is then harvested, crushed, sieved and washed to remove impurities. This normally hard, durable resin softens when heated-it is in this stage that artisans take advantage of the resin's pliability. Brilliantly colored adornments like beads, jewels and sequins are placed one by one onto the soft resin, which acts like glue, to create elaborate patterns that eventually set as it hardens. As a result of this meticulous process, no two pieces are exactly alike-each is a truly unique, handcrafted, one-of-a-kind work of art that, thanks to the typically vibrant assortment of embellishments, shimmers with color.