Daeng Thanunchai from Thailand
"I have been crafting lacquer wares for over forty years. My parents did not have the financial means to afford the education of six children, so I had to leave school. We heard one day that the Department of Factories was promoting a course with a lacquer ware specialist from Japan, so I enrolled and learned from this Japanese master of lacquer for six years.
"Upon completion, I worked for the company who funded the course. During that time I met Jinda, who was later to become my beloved wife. I worked for this company many years and eventually I was promoted to head worker. The owners, my co-workers and the customers liked my works and that really made me proud and happy. But I gradually thought of starting my own workshop, because I was not being challenged anymore and the company was taking credit for my work. I resigned and set up a little workshop in my house.
"Hand-crafting lacquer ware is extremely difficult. A single piece takes me between one and two months to complete, sometimes even longer. In the past, when technology was not as advanced as today, it took us even longer a time for we had to obey the natural laws, follow the seasons, and give into their wishes. You see, the humidity is a very important factor in the drying of liquid lacquer."