Lac Art of Rajasthan

Lac Art of Rajasthan

Lac is a  resinous substance  secreted  by  an  insect  called Kerria Lacca. The insect  hosts  itself  on the branches of  certain  trees  such  as kusum/papal  and  forms  a red encrustation  around it. The coated branches  are  cut  and  sieved  and  the  material  obtained  is  washed to remove all impurities. The resulting seed ( lac) is used in making several products.

In Rajasthan, for centuries, craftspersons have been using it to make a number of items ranging from jewellery to building pieces of architecture and decorative items. Originally when Lac work was introduced it was used for adorning doors and windows of houses. The work offers excellent finish to the doors and it is easy to make different designs and carvings on Lac.

The Lac work from Sawai, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Madhopur are known for their charming colours and vibrant and flawless finish.

The art of making Lac jewellery and decorative items is very intrinsic and complex. It requires skilled craftsmanship and a lot of precision. The process involves heating, combining, kneading, hammering and shaping till dough like mass is made.

In case of making a Lac bangle, the lac is expanded and formed into the required diameter and is thickened accordingly. A toll is used for rolling the bangle to give it the thickness. After this the lac is shaped by moulding it into a groove. The entire process requires a lot of accuracy and skill to give rise to beautiful jewellery. After lac has been moulded it is cleaned, polished and given the final finishing. Lac jewellery at times is adorned with beautiful glass beads and mirror work.

lac necklace

For other pieces of jewellery, lac is poured into dyes of different shapes that are lined with different colours. After the material sets in and cools and dries off it is removed, cleaned and polished to give the final finishing.

The material lends itself to a whole range of modern and contemporary products.

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