Indian Lac Jewellery

Lac jewellery comes from the princely city of Bikaner in the Indian state of Rajasthan.

Lac is collected from forest and very commonly used for costume jewellery. Low quality lac is used for cores and the better quality lac is used for decoration. Lac jewellery are worn by tribal communities in Rajasthan.

The lac jewellery have an inner-core which is covered by a relatively thin layer of better quality coloured lac. Core lac is strengthened by a material like white clay. The dry ingredients are heated, mixed together, kneaded and pounded with a hammer, a process repeated until the mass has formed similar type of dough like consistency.Shapes are done by pressing the lac into brass mould/die with grooves on each sides.The lac is forced into the groove with the instrument to take on the shape of the groove.The mold is then heated and lac takes the form of the mold.Though it looks delicate it is strong enough to be used as jewellery.

The basic enamel colour is painted on the whole lac shell. It is then fired in a tiny cylindered kiln for the enamel to set permanently.These enamel colours are mostly bright ones like white, golden, pink, blue parrot green, red, bottle green, turquoise, orange and black.Silver/Gold Foils,Glass seed beads,rhinestones,decorative wire are then used as embellishments.Many small pieces are sometimes joined together to get one complete earring/necklace/pendent.