Asian Lacquer Craft Exchange Program, in Cambodia, 2018

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Demonstration I

1 September (13:00~13:50) Ballroom, Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra Golf & Spa Resort
”Japanese Maki-e and Raden Techniques”, Norihiko Ogura, Professor, Tokyo University of the Arts
Maki-e” is the traditional Japanese decorative technique of sprinkling gold or silver powder on lacquerware. First, urushi  (lacquer) is applied to the areas to be decorated and then the powder is sprinkled over these areas before the urushi hardens. Maki-e technique was originally developed in Japan and has 1300-year history.
“Raden” is another decorative technique in which linings of mother-of-pearl, abalone, or great green turban shells are cut into designs and either put onto or inserted into the lacquered surface. Professor Ogura demonstrated several maki-e and raden decorative techniques.

Demonstration II

2 September (10:00~11:30Rainbow and Naga room, Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra Golf & Spa Resort
“Lai Lod Nam” technique
Instructor: Phumrapee Kongrit, Thailand
Lai Lod Nam is a gold leaf layer technique. Masking liquid is drawn on the parts that are not to be gilded. Then, a thin lacquer coating is applied. Next, gold leaf is affixed to the piece. When dry, the piece is washed removing the powder and resin revealing the pattern.
“Kanyit” technique
Instructor: U Myo Thet Naing, Myanmar
“Kanyit” is an etching technique. First the object is coated with acacia resin and then the pattern is etched on the object. Next, it is coated with colored lacquer. After the lacquer dries, washing the object with water removes the acacia resin and the unwanted color. The color stays only on the etched parts.
“Thayoe” technique
Instructor: U Myint Khaing, Myanmar
"Thayoe" is the mixing lacquer with bone or straw ash to make a putty to create a raised relief. 
“Egg Shell Inlay” technique
Instructor: Stocker Studio (Angkor Artwork), Cambodia
The demonstrations were very well attended with participants showing great interest in the Southeast Asian techniques. Instructors had their work projected on TV monitors.  Participants gathered around each demonstration table but freely moved from one to the other to note the details of each technique. The feedback was uniformly positive.

Workshops I

2 September (14:30~16:30)
Stocker Studio (Angkor Artwork), Sala Lodge Road, Salakamreuk Village
“Lai Lod Nam”
Instructor: Phumrapee Kongrit, Thailand
Lai Lod Nam is a gold leaf layer technique.  Participants made Lai Lod Nam patterns on 125 x 125 mm plates.
Instructor: U Myint Khaing, Myanmar
"Thayoe" is the mixing lacquer with bone or straw ash to make a putty to create a raised relief.
In this workshop participants practiced making their own Thayoe designs a simple on 125 x 125 mm plates.

Workshops II

4 September (10:00~12:00, 14:00~16:00) Stocker Studio (Angkor Artwork)Japanese Lacquer Technique “Maki-e”
Norihiko Ogura, Professor, Tokyo University of the Arts
“Maki-e” is the traditional Japanese decorative technique of sprinkling gold or silver powder on lacquerware. In this workshop, 15 participants practiced simple maki-e techniques by putting their own designs on 30 x 55 mm oval pendants under the direction of Professor Norihiko Ogura.
Basic Lacquer Techniques
Eric Stocker and Committee Technicians
Participants practiced lacquer coating techniques as well as eggshell inlay on 125 x125mm lacquered boards. A number of restoration experts from the Apsara Authority participated as well a local artisans and members of the public. Interest was high as this was the first time for many of them to work with natural lacquer. The Apsara Authority restorers were particularly enthusiastic, motivated by the Authority’s interest in using natural lacquer to repaint sandstone relief.
Besides the international participants, local artisans, Apsara Authority employees, students and teachers from the Royal University of Fine Arts in Phnom Penh (RUFA) as well as the general public attended the workshops. There was a great deal of interest shown by all in learning lacquer techniques.

Study Tour

3 September (7:00~14:00)
About 100 participants –3 full buses—went on the Study Tour to Visit to Stoung area in Kampong Thom to see how lacquer sap is collected and traditional rattan and bamboo basket weaving. It was also a chance to experience life in a small village. There was a certain amount of fun and adventure on the trek to the lacquer trees since the route went through flooded paddy fields. The Cambodian method of tapping the tress was shown and lacquer collected. Eric Stocker explained the entire collection process in detail, answering many questions from participants. While some went straight to see the lacquer trees, others first visited the village weavers where they were shown the techniques of rattan basket making, before trekking out the trees. In this way it was easier for everyone to get a close look at both the tree bleeding and basket-weaving processes.
Mr. Thaly
A poignant and moving moment during the tour was the visit to Mr. Thaly’s resting place. He had recently passed away. It was Mr. Thaly who first showed Eric Stocker how to collect lacquer from the trees near the village. And Mr. Thaly collected lacquer sap for him for more than a decade. We offered condolences to his family and prayed together at his memorial. It is our hope that his family and village continue his work as tree bleeders.

If you have any questions, please contact us. 
Asian Lacquer Craft Exchange Research Project