Types of Finishing on Qua's Lacquerware

A series of finishing that you can explore when customising your very own collection with us. 

Types of Finishing on Qua's Lacquerware - Qua | Distinctive Gifts

Lacquer is beautiful and sought after for homeware and as a base material, for its long-lasting glossy sheen and hardiness. 

The making of Qua's lacquerware base is a long, tedious process which cannot be rushed. The main support is first crafted from raw wood that's dried and repaired. Then, cotton gauze is stretched over the structure and a layer of lacquer and clay mixture is applied. A total of three layers of lacquer mixed with clay and wood powder is applied, air-dried and polished. Lacquer mixed with clay and chalk powder are then layered on again to waterproof the structure. Stone powder is then thrown into the mixture to leave a smooth finish, and any surface imperfections are removed.

The next stage is where the artisans will add on the personalised finishing — be it a printed artwork, hand-painted graphics, gold and silver leaf applique, or solid coloured lacquer.

They are then sealed with lacquer once more, in multiple layers, repeatedly polished, and then finally clear natural lacquer is used for the extreme gloss.

Artwork Personalisation

If you already have an artwork or image that is symbolic or meaningful to your company, share it with us and we will add it onto our products. Be it a photograph, artist's impression, or your corporate branding motifs, they can be achieved.

The iconic batik print of Singapore's world class airlines is replicated on the round trinket box. Commissioned by Singapore Air.
Trinket boxes with customised artworks, commissioned by Ports of Singapore Authority. In this instance, there is a bevelled edge around the cover of the box to give it a touch of elegance. 
Customised business card box with artwork, commissioned by the Ministry of Health Singapore.
Customised lacquer tea boxes in two different styles of artwork, commissioned by Ministry of Law Singapore. Similarly, this has a bevelled edge to elevate the look.
Old photographs can be replicated, kept and used in a practical way for a long time with this technique. 
Gold & Silver Leaf Applique 
The glossy, metallic finish is accomplished with carefully applied gold or silver leaves, giving the finished product an extra dazzling sheen. 
Lacquer plaques with gold leaf applied, for a gorgeous contrast with the rich deep blue. Commissioned by BD Singapore. 
Lacquer coasters with silver leaf applied together with vibrant shades of National Technological University's corporate colours in red and blue. 
The shimmery gold leaf applique in beautiful contrast with the muted customised artwork on a business card box. 
Silver foil with red lacquer, and gold painted brush strokes, seen on our Chinese Chess Set.
Hand Painting
Our skilful artisans are also able to translate your artwork onto the lacquer products with their brush and paint. With this method, the final products will never look exactly the same, with a wonderfully organic and hand-made quality to them, making each of them a piece unique. 
A specially constructed drawer box with painted on cherry blossoms. 
Similarly, this technique can be found in our core Persimmons and Birds Collection.
Mother-of-Pearl Inlay
Also known as nacre, the mother-of-pearl is found on the inner shell of some species of mollusk. The beautiful iridescence is formed from layers upon layers of mineral compound which the shell secrets when irritants like sand or salt get into them. Hardy and resilient,  it is often laid as decorative elements on furniture, homewares, or jewellery. 
Lacquer coaster set commissioned by DBS Singapore is made extra special, as the Chinese calligraphy characters were hand written by a senior executive in the company. Our artisans then carved the mother-of-pearl pieces exactly to the shape of the characters, and then carved the wood based precisely to fit the small pieces into the coasters. They're then sealed and polished with layers of coloured and clear lacquer for the incredible shine. 
Similarly, we use the same technique in one of our collections, The Pond of Prosperity. 
The mother-of-pearl is cut into carp-shaped pieces for a lively, lovely scene. Bits of egg shells are also utilised for extra textures. 
Laser Engraving
This finishing gives a delightful contrast between the smooth glossy sheen of lacquer, and the engraved texture of the artwork. Laser engraving is firstly done on the prepared lacquer wood, and each product is finished with hand-painting – creating a tactile, pleasurable experience when one handles it.
The method has been used in Qua's collaboration with ART:DIS artist Kenneth Lee, in Through the Looking Glass, where he used his intricate line work to immortalise the iconic architectures in Singapore's skyline.
UV Printing
A printing technique that uses special ultra-violet curing ink, the process allows the ink to be printed onto different range of materials. Because of the nature of the ink, it also allows us to use it to texturise specific parts of any artwork. We have used this finishing for our Ivory Nyonya Collection, where the ceramic tiles were made to look and feel rather different with a 3D texture.
It was also used in a commissioned project from Andaz Hotel Singapore, where the tiles were specially printed to motifs of their choice. 
For more information on the different types of customisations, visit our Customisation page, or contact us for more details.