A GIFT OF TEA
Larsen & Thompson salutes an ancient traditional craft with a timeless range of richly lacquered boxes from the artisans of Burma.
What is Burmese lacquer, you may ask:
Lacquer is the sap of the Melanorrhoea usitata tree which grows wild in the forests of upper Burma. 15 to 20 layers of lacquer are applied by hand and each is allowed to dry or "cure" in a cellar for 10 days before the next layer is applied; this makes the production painstakingly slow. Even the shape of the vessel is handmade using wood or bamboo. Once used by royalty to store precious documents and jewellery, Burmese lacquer ware will never lose its shine.
Lacquer ware has been produced in Pagan, Burma, for centuries, perhaps as far back as at the time of the city's foundation 1,000 years ago. Techniques were passed from one generation to the next, and the family manufacturing tradition is still carried on today.
While all traditional crafts are endangered by the appalling global rise of mass produced plastic products, we felt strongly about supporting the artisans of Pagan. The lacquer boxes we commissioned one master family to make for us have an understated beauty and elegance.