All of the boxes are finished with a very traditional finish that has been used for centuries - shellac. Shellac is a non-toxic, natural, and environmentally friendly finish - while you've probably heard of shellac, you may not know that shellac is made from the secretions of the lac bug (Laccifer lacca). Most shellac is gathered in India, where it is picked (by hand) from deposits left by the lac bug in plum trees. The collected secretions are processed and refined into several grades of dry flakes, which, when dissolved in alcohol, produce liquid shellac.
Once mixed with alcohol, shellac has a limited shelf life. Because of this, all of the shellac used on these boxes is mixed from flakes right in the shop. This ensures that the shellac is fresh and provides the opportunity to fine tune its consistency.
After several coats of shellac have cured, the boxes are given a hand rubbed coating of wax. Lots of elbow grease leaves the boxes silky smooth and produces a final finish that begs to be touched.