Laquer Wood Toys

Craftsmen : Venkatesh B
Toys and dolls form the most bewitching part of Indian handicrafts.
Chennapatna in Karnataka is known where artisans have been crafting toys using their traditional woodcraft and colouring them with natural vegetable dyes that are lacquered onto the surfaces as a finishing touch. The wood used for making these colourful toys is usually the hale wood, which is cut to the basic size required and kept aside for seasoning for a period of four to six weeks. Lac is applied in a dry state. The lac stick mixed with natural earth and vegetable colours are pressed against the wooden pieces to be lacquered. When the wood keeps revolving on a lathe, the heat generated by friction softens the lac, making the colour stick on the surface. It is with a remarkable skill that the craftsman manipulates the stick so that the colours spread uniformly, especially where several colours are used. A final polish is done using palm leaves. Over some of the lacquered pieces designs are painted with a brush