Wooden Lacquerware of Ettikopaka,Andhra

Etikoppakka, a village (about 80 km from Vishakapatnam) in Andhra Pradesh is well-known for its lacquered toys and products. Tradition has it that the craft has been practised continuously for two centuries. The products made include toys, utility items like bowls, jars, and containers, and ornaments like bangles and ear rings.

The lacquering here is done on hand- or machine-operated lathe, though delicate items are turned with a hand lathe only. In the lac turney method that is followed here, the lac stick is pressed against the woodenware. The woodenware keeps revolving and the heat generated by friction makes the lac soft, and makes it adhere to the article. The wood used is usually poniki, a soft wood, though toys are also made of other kinds of wood like teak and are given a natural finish. Solid colour lacquering is preferred here. Traditionally natural colours were used though now chemical dyes are also prevalent.