The Beautiful Lacquerware

When I mentioned to my taxi driver that I wanted to go to this lacquer shop that I saw an ad for, he said he’d take me to a cheaper one. If it is, of that I’m not sure. Either way, up some narrow streets in a small village somewhere in the Bagan area, we arrived at Mya Thit Sar Lacquerware Work Shop. With the words “you don’t have to buy anything if you don’t want to” and “he will just show you the process” lingering in the back of my mind, I entered the room where the magic happens. I was taken through all the steps that goes into creating these incredible detailed works of art. There was a young man (I’d say boy, but I’ve realized they look younger than they are πŸ™‚ ) making bowls out of strips of bamboo, with no glue, just some sort of closure mechanism. After the lacquer is added in layers after layers with drying in-between, there are, in this case, young women carving out the small detailed patterns that are to be colored. First you carve of all the details that are to be green, add the green color, dry, carve out the details that are to be red, and so on it goes. Just one little bowl takes several weeks to make. After learning about the tedious production process, I had a new outlook on things as I continued into their shop, which had plenty of items to choose from. This place is not the cheapest place you can shop at, but the quality is very good. And considering the work that goes into this, it’s cheap! Of course you can go the cheaper way and haggle at the many souvenir stalls you find everywhere, but just make sure you get the genuine product, not just painted goods. Since my haggling skills are nowhere to be found, I was very OK with this. I ended up with what you see above (some lucky people get presents πŸ™‚ ), and a discount πŸ™‚Β I so wish I could have taken home some furniture, still contemplating on that one…

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0 thoughts on “The Beautiful Lacquerware

  1. My tour guide took me in there and I had no intentions of buying anything but all the things you said, I felt. I ended up buying a 3-drawer cabinet that cost me $2,800 and a big bowl that cost me $200. The owner told me the 3-drawer cabinet took 1 year to make. And they only made 2 of those per year.

    • πŸ˜€ I am so jealous! I want one too!! I assumed it was going to be expensive, so I never asked about the price. In addition to shipping and import taxes. Very happy for you πŸ™‚

  2. I love the colours and design of the lacquer ware in your first photo. I can imagine the workshop tour would have enhanced the shopping experience.

  3. How exquisite! It is sometimes really worth going on a tour of the workshop. One has a much better understanding of the artistry and, yes, then you don’t mind paying a little extra. And every time you look at your beautiful bowl, you will remember your trip and meeting the artists πŸ™‚

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