The arena of arts and handicrafts represents a blend of culture and traditions associated with each particular region. India, in general and Telangana in particular are known for the impressive range of hand-made artefacts that enthrall onlookers, buyers and collectors of art. The term lacquer originates from the ancient Sanskrit language, where the word lākshā represents the number 100,000. This is a reference used for the lac insect (due to their enormous number) and also its resinous secretions, which is rich in shellac produced by the Lac insect. Lac has been used from a long time for the purpose of wood finish and toy making in the Indian subcontinent.
The word lacquer is used generally for many hard and shiny finishes, which are applied to materials like wood. Based on the extent of application, shine, color and the objects they are used for, they fall into a number of different groups. According to historical evidence from archaeological digs in China, lacquer is being used for more than 8,000 years.
Asian lacquerware, is considered "true lacquer", since the wooden objects are coated skillfully with the treated, dyed and also dried sap of the species Toxicodendron vernicifluum or other related trees. These are applied in several coats for a base or object, usually wood. After it dries, it results in a very hard as well as smooth surface layer.
This makes the hand-made items much more durable, waterproof, and looks quite attractive in terms of look and feel. The lacquer is also painted with pictures sometimes, and further inlaid with shells and other materials. These are also carved and dusted with gold along with other decorative treatments. In the modern method of making handicrafts, lacquer implies a range of colored wood finishes which are dried by solvent evaporation to produce a hard and durable finish. The finish is of different sheen levels, ranging from ultra-matte to high gloss. This is further polished if required. Even lacquer paint is used sometimes, which typically dries on a hard and smooth surface. In modern hand-made products where lac is used for coating finishes, these are referred to as shellac too. Raw lacquer is colored further, with the addition of small quantity of iron oxides, which accords a red or black color depending on the oxide used.
In Hyderabad and certain other parts of India, lac is used extensively for creating stunning toys, artefacts and other attractive hand-made products. Laad bazaar in Old city of Hyderabad is quite famous for lac bangles and other articles that continues to attract art collectors and buyers from a very long time. Elephants, box, pens, pens, bangles, vessels, key chains and a wide variety of other articles are created artistically, studded with lacquer. The different colors and shades of lacquer add a great element of delight, which makes these articles extra special. Moreover, mirror work and other decorative finish, makes these artefacts one-of-its-kind, high quality handicrafts.