Jib spent a decade on Rakker, which started out as an experimental project. “Rak” is a natural coating used in lacquer works and basketry that is mostly produced in Om Koi in the far south of Chiang Mai Province.
A graduate of Design Art at the Faculty of Decorative Arts, Silpakorn University, Sumanatsya “Jib” Voharn now lectures at the Faculty of Fine Arts, Chiang Mai University. Jib believes in bridging gaps between communities and creating mutual participation, and she is interested in local crafts using local materials, and contemporary and sustainable design. It was Chiang Mai’s artisan communities who had inherited the art of lacquerware production that inspired Jib to develop lacquer art for the contemporary context.
Lacquering uses natural materials and requires different skills. Taking environment and energy into consideration, Jib has developed Rakker using techniques that blend local expertise and foreign methodology together, allowing Rakker’s designs to express lifestyle, folklore, history, culture and society.
Jib is a member of the Asian Lacquer Craft Exchange Research Project, Japan, and is often invited to art events and workshops both domestically and internationally. Rakker utilizes Kintsugi, the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery using lacquer, a technique developed by Sakurako Matsushima. Rakker also offers courses teaching the basics of Kintsugi during weekends at a private space.
This year, Jib plans to open Rakker Craft-Space, where experts and enthusiasts can share experience and knowledge. It will hold Kintsugi workshops and be an activity space that welcomes students and those who are interested in craftworks.