The Tai Khern lacquerware artisans migrated from Chiang Toong to Chiangmai in the 18th and 19th centuries, either by choice or by force. Throughout this time, artisans have maintained their traditional methods.
The Tai Khern Gold Leaf lacquerware requires sophisticated workmanship. Intricate patterns are made by puncturing tracing paper with micro-holes. The paper is then wrapped over a piece of lacuqerware and brushed with powder. The powder forms the guidelines for applying a special liquid made of tree sap, which is designed to fall off once it comes into contact with water.
The other parts are then covered in a natural lacquer before the gold leaf is applied over the entire area. The piece is left to dry for awhile (much longer in big professional pieces) but only a few minutes in this experience. The whole piece of lacquerware is then submerged in water and the parts traced over with natural tree sap will cause the gold leaf to wash off in the water, leaving a beautiful pattern on your lacuqerware.
You will be able to choose a variety of patterns from the traditional designs used to adorn numerous temples and lacquerware in Thailand. Or if you're up for it you can create your own design on a new piece of tracing paper and imprint it on a lacquerware of your choice for a completely unique self-made souvenir to bring home!