Lacquer is generally a clear waterproof varnish with high sheen and depth. Original Asian lacquer work spread from China, to Korea, to Japan. It involved around 40 coats of slow drying natural lacquer from the sap of the Rhus Vernicifera tree, with painstaking flattening down between coats, and items could take years to complete.
With the advent of quick-drying, synthetic lacquers the process was accelerated. Modern 2-packs, especially polyesters, have made it possible to produce very deep lacquer work and we are now able to impress pattern and even deep crackle into the glaze.