Burmese Lacquerware Hsun-ok Offering Bowls
In Myanmar today the traditional Burmese Lacquerware Hsun-ok Offering Bowls are made in much the same way they were made a couple of hundred years ago, although this is slowly changing.
The lacquer used in the production of these bowls is derived from the resin or sap of the Gluta usitata tree, also known as the Burmese varnish tree, a large deciduous tree highly sought after for tapping the lacquer from the trunk.
Although the Burmese varnish tree is native to Burma (Myanmar), it is also found in other parts of South East Asia, mainly Thailand. The methods of tapping the lacquer is similar to the methods used in harvesting rubber. When the resin first appears it is a strawberry colour but soon turns a glossy black.
Some of the larger hsun-ok offering bowls are made from coiled bamboo, the smaller ones with woven split bamboo. Hsun-ok offerings bowls can take up to 6 months to complete, depending on the complexity of the pattern and colours.
The patterns are meticulously engraved onto the body of the bowl and then filled with gold leaf.
Informative article on the production of Hsun-ok Lacquerware