Can you find happiness in hard work?

Did you know there are 100 Chinese characters that mean Happiness?

We didn’t, until we saw those 100 characters, beautifully formed in mother of pearl and inlaid in gorgeous red lacquer.  In fact, one of our team is the proud owner of this stunning piece of art after winning it last week at the Worldwide ERC’s Global Workforce Symposium in Chicago!

The lacquer’s red color represents positivity, luck, success, and happiness. Mother of pearl is used in art work and decoration to convey elegance and luxury. The Chinese characters date back 5000 years, but the happiness they brought last Friday was very present.

Hand-made in Vietnam, this art was created through a process that is many centuries old. In PhuTho province, early Vietnamese artisans discovered how to convert juices derived from the Rhus Succedanea tree to a slow-drying natural lacquer which protects delicate art.

Would you believe the process can take up to four months for a single piece? Artisans follow more than 15 steps and apply 18 coats of lacquer to make art that is not only beautiful but also durable.

According to DSP Relocation Asia, the donor of this gift, crafting lacquer-ware requires knowledge, patience, ingenuity and foresight.

The patience and hard work devoted to this particular piece made Erin – and all of us – very happy indeed.

Written by Ellen Harris