Budni Ghat is a small village in Madhya Pradesh where lacquered wooden articles are made. The Budni craftsmen, who have been learning their craft for centuries, are part of the Vishwakarma community. Colored lacquerware can be seen in a wide range of decorative and utilitarian items, such as wall hooks, rolling pins, tricycles, and toys.
Originally made of Sagwan wood (Teak), the decline of its availability caused the craftsmen to move to locally available Dudhi wood, which is smooth and simple to carve and provides a glow to the lacquer hues due to its light colour.
Simple chisels and gouges are used to cut out patterns on the spinning wood. The colour is added while the piece is still on the lathe. Artificial dyes imported from Rajasthan have replaced natural colours in lacquer work. “Chapdi“, a kind of wax known as is sourced from Maharashtra and is an essential ingredient in the process. To prepare the lacquer paste, this wax is boiled with “Chandrak,” a natural varnishing agent, and the dye is added. After the coloured lacquer has dried on the wood, it is polished with Kewra oil to achieve a smooth and shiny finish.