Lac bugs + friction = Kerria Lacca
"Kerria Lacca", also known as the Lac bug, lives on trees in southern Asia. The lac bug secretes a resin that is the main ingredient in shellack. Here, the resin is used in its purest form to coat wooden objects using a centuries-old artisanal technique: Lac-turnery. The objects are created in collaboration with a toy manufacturing cooperative in Channapatna, India.
The resin is made into solid sticks that are pushed onto wood turning on a lathe. It melts from the friction and creates a hard, high gloss coat in mere seconds. The speedy application makes it ideal for small-scale serial production and artistic experimentation. It has potential to be further developed.
Lac-turnery is a mesmerizing craft that doesn’t get the recognition it deserves. It’s on the brink of extinction, partly due to rivalry from mass-produced toys, and partly because the connotations to ”Fair-trade craft” and ”women’s cooperative” aren’t high status.
Kerria Lacca draws attention to the craft by putting it in a new context. The project aims to bring up the discussion on how heritage crafts can be uplifted and used in contemporary production, whilst steering clear of cultural appropriation. This is done by co-creating with the artisans and paying homage to the craft’s original aesthetics and history.
Welcome to the window exhibition at Stoft Studio!
Project by Ebba Lindgren