Lacquer-work is a highly skilled decorative art in which the craftsman first shapes the wood to create the object he wants, using a lathe. Different kinds of wood are used to make boxes, bowls, vases and other turned objects, including chess sets. Traditionally the lathe is hand powered by a cord pulled round a spindle. Several layers of lacquer are applied in different colours and allowed to harden. The design is then incised with sharp tools, exposing the bright colours of the underlying layers.
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