A Silkwood Traders dragonfly wooden lacquer trinket box starts life as a jackfruit tree from managed plantations. After being harvested each trinket box is hollowed out and hand-turned on a lathe. A lid is cut off and prepared separately and made to fit.
Each dragonfly wooden lacquer trinket box is carefully prepared, hand-painted and layer upon layer of lacquer applied over a period of several months. In between each layer of lacquer, the item is left to dry, sanded back and then another layer applied giving a beautiful shine and depth of colour. It also results in a strong and robust finish which can withstand most bumps and drops. But always better to be safe than sorry so we always advise to handle with care. After all, it took three months to make!
Each wooden trinket box is packaged in a plain white cardboard box and an information card about how lacquerware is made is also included.
Jackfruit tree wood, which is used to make the dragonfly wooden lacquer trinket box, is truly a magic tree. Not only does it produce the largest fruit in the world, it does so over and over again each season, providing a cheap, plentiful, nutritious food source, medicines, wood for timber, dye for clothes, glue and food source for goats!
Each tree can grow up to 150 jackfruits over the two harvest seasons it can have each year making it an invaluable food source. It has even been hailed as a miracle solution to alleviating starvation in many areas of the world and as a way of meeting the challenges of climate change which could see traditional crops in some areas of the world die out.
Typically growing in sub-tropical locations in South and South-east Asia, each tree requires regular pruning to maintain its productivity. It’s easy to grow, drought-tolerant and disease-resistant. The timber has a long tradition of being used in building Ruong houses in the central provinces of Vietnam, shelters in Hoi An and Hue, Buddhist statues and fish sauce barrels. In other areas of Asia it is prized for making musical instruments.
As the jackfruit tree is indigenous to Vietnam, it’s viewed as a sustainable crop which means it adds to the ecosystem and doesn’t destroy it. It has adapted to the local climate and all parts of the tree can be used.
Here at Silkwood Traders, jackfruit wood is used in many of our products including the round tealights, bowls, vases, trinket boxes and natural wood wine holders.
The eggshell dragonfly – how do they make it ?
Egg shell is crushed and inserted on to the wood , then the whole piece is painted. The paint is then wiped off the egg shell areas. Lightly sanded , then this process is repeated up to 15 times.
However, how did they get the different coloured shading effects that can range from dark brown to beige to cream and almost white?
The family in Vietnam collect local egg and duck shell from from shops , wash them , place them on large steel trays and place on an open fire for about 5 minutes. Where the shell is touching the tray it begins to turn dark brown. The tray is removed from the fire and allowed to cool down. Now the egg shells have shades of colour from dark brown to white.
All the eggs are then crushed with rolling pins and a large pile of shell is ready to be sorted. The family then sit around and with great dexterity each pick out a shade of colour and fill their bowl. Finally we have up to eight bowls of different coloured egg shell ready to be inserted into the wood.