Traditional Northern Thai lacquerware in Thailand
"Our patterns are those of classic Thai lacquerware but my designs focus on unique etched motifs that can only be seen in lacquerware from the north. I also use brighter colors.""I'm Prathin Sribunrueang. I was born in 1960 to a family with five children and grew up in the center of the lacquerware work in Northern Thailand. We are a family of artisans. Today, there are only a few families that still make lacquerware in my village, and we always keep the old crafting traditions as we work together at my house.
"When I was about ten years old, I started helping my mother with her work and I felt good about this craft. After I graduated from the School of Fine Arts at the university, I married and moved to Bangkok where my husband and I worked about 30 years. Unfortunately, my husband passed away in 2015, so I moved back to live with my family and help my older sister to run the workshop.
"In 2019, I took over managing the workshop after my older sister passed away. With the help of my brothers and sisters, I continue to carry on our lacquerware tradition. Now we have six artisans who are mostly seniors that know how to hand-paint the unique motifs. Most of the work takes place in my home.
"Our patterns are those of classic Thai lacquerware but my designs focus on unique etched motifs that can only be seen in lacquerware from the north. I also use brighter colors. Because of our quality and reliability, our work is guaranteed and we are permitted to use the Chiang Mai brand. In 2003, our lacquerware was ranked as four-star products of the north. Our designs also won second place for household furniture from the Department of Industrial Promotion.
"Aside from economic difficulties, there are not enough sales channels for lacquerware. The younger generation doesn't know much about these traditional techniques. We keep working in the old style to serve the old generation of lacquerware lovers. We then had to design a new style for a new generation, but those sales didn't go well. Only true lacquer lovers come back to buy this kind of work, unless they are buying souvenirs or seasonal gifts.
"In the future, I want to develop and transfer our knowledge of both old and modern styles to a new generation. I don't want it to disappear from our life. We're very happy show our lacquerware so you can learn about this unique Thai art and about our culture. We're glad you've given us another way to promote and preserve this are of art."
6 items by Prathin
Golden Lotus Treasure
Handcrafted Floral Thai Lacquered Wood Jewelry Box
Golden Lotus Treasure, Handcrafted Floral Thai Lacquered Wood Jewelry Box
PrathinShowcased on sleek black lacquer, stylized lotus blossoms flaunt their golden petals. Prathin creates an enchanting box for jewelry or keepsakes. Using traditional techniques on mango wood, she...$124.99
Red Thai Garden
Handcrafted Floral Thai Lacquered Wood Box
Red Thai Garden, Handcrafted Floral Thai Lacquered Wood Box
PrathinCrimson poppies with verdant foliage bloom exuberantly on a jewelry box. Prathin creates an delightful box for keepsakes or personal treasures. Using traditional techniques on sleek black mango wood...$64.99
Golden Lotus Flame
Handcrafted Thai Lacquered Wood Decorative Box
Golden Lotus Flame, Handcrafted Thai Lacquered Wood Decorative Box
PrathinShowcased on sleek black lacquer, stylized lotus blossoms form patterns like flames. Prathin creates a beautiful and petite box for keepsakes. Using traditional techniques on mango wood, she creates a...$99.99
Handcrafted Poppy Blossom Thai Lacquered Wood Box
Poppy Pinwheel, Handcrafted Poppy Blossom Thai Lacquered Wood Box
PrathinCrimson poppies with verdant foliage bloom exuberantly on a jewelry box. Prathin creates an delightful box for keepsakes or personal treasures. Using traditional techniques on sleek black mango wood...$79.99
Petite Round Thai Lacquered Wood Box with Angel Musicians
Deva Music, Petite Round Thai Lacquered Wood Box with Angel Musicians
PrathinPrathin crafts this petite circular container with mango wood, using the traditional techniques of Northern Thailand. Etched by hand, the motifs appear on sleek black lacquer. The lid is decorated...$39.99
Nature's Revelation in Green
Hand Crafted Thai Lacquerware Coaster Set (Set of 6)
Nature's Revelation in Green, Hand Crafted Thai Lacquerware Coaster Set (Set of 6)
PrathinWorking with her siblings, Prathin carries on the family crafting tradition of Thai lacquerware. This beautiful set of six coasters is crafted from mango wood and hand engraved with elaborate floral...$74.99