Lacquerware is a traditional craft of Karnataka largely practiced by craftsmen in Chennapatna, located about 65 km from Bangalore. The lacquerware craft involves the application of lacquer on wood being revolved by hand or power operated lathe. During the lacquering process colored lac, sticks are pressed against the shaped wooden object to be lacquered.
Chennapatna is the hub of a wide array of lacquerware products including toys for children, kitchenware, tableware, bangles and jewelry, furniture items, cradles, and many more items of utility value. Artisans engaged in this traditional craft are called chitragars and they mostly reside in several villages around Chennapatna like Makkan, Yelekeri, and Diara.
The hale wood is the preferred choice for lacquering, as it is extremely close-grained, moderately hard, and ideal for turning. After the wood is cut into the required size and shape, it is rotated using a lathe so as to smoothen it. Finally, the lacquering of the surface is done by using lac sticks that melt into the revolving wood and imprint it.