Lacquerware has long been associated with the north of Thailand, not surprisingly since the resin used in its production is obtained by tapping a tree ( Melanorrhea usitata: known as the rak or hak in Thai) which grows widely in this region. This is applied in layers to wood, pottery, or shaped objects made of woven bamboo, a process that may take weeks or months. Red dye is often used to color northern lacquerware, and designs are applied to the surface in black. A related technique is gold-and-black lacquer painting, an art that began during the Sukhothai period, then developed in Ayutthaya, and later continued in Bangkok.
The earliest known pieces of Thai lacquerware date from the Ayutthaya period, and it has usually been thought that the skill came to Lanna by way of Burma. This was probably true, though recent research has indicated the Burmese learned their more advanced techniques of decorating lacquer from Thai artisans captured after the fall of Ayutthaya in 1757 AD.
These containers are first handwoven baskets in bamboo. Then they are painted with chalk, a layer of glue & sawdust. When they dry, they are very hard. Next, they are painted white with two white layers before the artisan paints the decorative finish. Finally, rattan strips are woven onto the outside. This is a very labor-intensive process.