Vietnamese craftsmen applied traditional lacquer techniques to create a unique item – an Italian scooter inlaid with eggshell. (Photo courtesy of Hanoia)

Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnamese craftsmen have applied traditional lacquer techniques to create a unique item – an Italian-brand scooter inlaid with eggshell.

To complete the one-of-a-kind scooter, a group of six skillful craftsmen spent three consecutive months working on the item.

According to the group leader, master craftsman Vo Dong Ho of the fine lacquer workshop Hanoia, among dozens of lacquer techniques, eggshell inlay is the most difficult. "The work requires deep concentration and scrupulous care. That’s why only those with ’golden hands’ were chosen to work on this special scooter."

His team consists of the best artisans of the workshop which features only craftsmen from two famous lacquer making villages in Vietnam – Tuong Binh Hiep in Thu Dau Mot in the southern province of Binh Duong and Ha Thai in Hanoi’s Thuong Tin suburban district.

Master craftsman Ho, who became involved with lacquer making at the age of eight, revealed that eggshell selection is another important step for making lacquer.

"Many people think it is a piece of cake. In fact, it is not easy to get enough eggshells of exactly the same colour. We use only ceramic white duck eggshells and we never use the blue ones because they are low quality," Ho said.

Like any other "Made in Hanoia" lacquer products which are mostly for an upscale international market, separate parts of the scooter - such as the front panel, front and side protection plates, front instrument panel cover and front fender - have each been done through many processing steps. Those steps, including sanding, eggshell inlaying, colouring, colour sanding, varnishing, varnish sanding, and polishing, are repeated several times until the item becomes perfect.

"Even though we have applied 18 layers of sanding sealer and colour, the item’s surface looks very bright and smooth," Ho said proudly.

The unique one-of-a-kind scooter can be seen at Casa Italia on 18 Le Phung Hieu Street from now through October 17. The scooter will go under the hammer on October 29. The proceeds will be donated to Operation Smile.-VNA