DIA330mm, China

For those of us who grew up going to Japanese restaurants in Hong Kong, eating out of the black / red shiny bento boxes is a norm, so much that it becomes a symbol in our mind.  But anyone ever wonder why there are so many black plastic containers?  They are actually a replica of the lacquer ware that would have been traditionally used.  Those are probably the closest some of us get to know of lacquer ware.

The making of lacquer ware is a laborious task of collecting urushiol from the lacquer tree (Toxicodendron vernicifluum) and applying thin layers of lacquer over a form (in this case, wood), let dry, polish and apply again and again.  Here is a clip of Japanese lacquer tray making;

You will be surprised that the price of this handmade lacquer tray is not any more expensive than a good quality plastic one, and if you handle it with care (avoid soaking in water and the use of abrasive cleaner) it will last just as long.  Make this your first lacquer ware!

This item selected by Furze for the Something Old Something New exhibition and is available at both Mountain Folkcraft and Soil.