Though wood is beautiful in itself, man has tried to accentuate certain of its qualities by further ornamentation. One medium is lacquering in which countless designs and colour schemes can be executed.
Lac is heated to a plastic condition, kneaded, colours added, then drawn to be made into sticks. Before applying the lac, the wooden article is smoothened by rubbing with fine pottery powder, then put on a lathe and rotated, while the lac stick is pressed against it. The friction softens the lac, which then is smeared all over.
If more than one colour is to be applied, spots are left blank where more rounds are taken to cover up each with a different tint. It is fascinating to watch a lac turner spin out his designs in various colours with a small sharp chisel. A marble polish is given by first rubbing with a bamboo edge and then with an oil rag.