The technique

It is used to decorate with thin layers of lacquer on wooden surfaces, gourds, gourds or pumpkin bark. The word lacquer is of Persian origin and was used to describe objects that were covered to protect them from humidity, heat and to last.

The finish is achieved with pulverized minerals and a shellac called ax and to be able to apply it, it is diluted with chia or linseed oil. It is believed that this technique was used in Mexico before the arrival of the Spanish, even that Emperor Moctezuma drank cocoa in treated and decorated gourds, with what could have been the beginning of the lacquer technique. The elaboration process is complex and takes many steps, you must choose the gourd of a good size and quality, let it dry, cut, patch, sand and bathe the piece with linseed or chia oil for later decoration. Many variants can be made with this technique, such as gilding, stewed, scratched and emptied. Each one with its particularity but they all correspond to the same base that is the lacquering of pieces. Gilding consists of the luxury of embedding gold or silver leaves that are polished and drawn on. In Michoacán the embedded maque is worked, which is a technique in which the drawing is scratched on the gourd or wood so that the drawing is finally left.


Ensamble Artesano collaborates with artisan groups that are dedicated to preserving this traditional technique in the states of Guerrero and Michoacán.

Thanks to the Allied Organizations that strengthen the lacquer craft groups in Ensamble Artesano.