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METAL CRAFT IN INDIA
Some of the finest metal works is the use enameled silver which is used for everything from pillboxes to figurines. Brass enamel is less expensive, and more prevalent from tabletops to dancing peacocks, caparisoned elephants, dancing camels, swords and shields. In recent years, wrought iron has become popular, though this is more contemporary in its usage, than traditional.
Gold & Silverware : The princely states of India demanded not only enameled jewellery but also enameled utensils such as wine-cups, finger bowls, pillboxes etc. in both gold and silver repousse, sometimes studded with jewels. The craftspersons of India excel in this art. With the evolution of new tools, techniques and skills, they are now better equipped to cater to modern tastes. Fully geared to meet modern market demands, today the gold and silver plated articles produced are usually plain or even when ornamented are devoid of extensive encrustation. Portions of silver articles are sometimes covered with gold water.
Indian artisans have always shown an exceptional skill in engraving, chasing and ornamenting of gold and silver articles of everyday and decorative use.
Ideal destinations to shop: Lucknow, produces an extensive range of gold and silver plated articles in a multitude of patterns. The designs resemble those found in Kashmir.
Brass & Copperware : India is the largest brass and copper making region in the world with thousands of establishments spread all over for articles made out of one or more pieces of metal. Goods produced have an all India market, with a portion being exported to other countries.
Ideal destination to shop: Moradabad is famous for utensils, both utility and ornamental, Varanasi, is the first city in India for the multitude of its cast and sculptured mythological images and emblematic in brass and copper as well as household utensils, Mirzapur is also one of the important brass industries, other places famous for metalware are Kashmir, Bihar, West Bengal, Assam, Orissa, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
Metal Ornamentation : Metal ornaments have been a rave in all ages and times. The attractive contrast in colors and textures of metals has led to the evolution of metal ornamentation through techniques like inlay, overlay, appliqué, fixing of colors etc. Bidri : It is a form of surface ornamentation. The work is in black color, which never fades and is relieved with silver and gold inlay. This art abounds in fish motifs, flora & fauna and vine leaf patterns.
Ideal destination to shop: Lucknow is the centre of manufacturing bidri.
Enameling : This is the art of coloring and ornamenting the surface of the metal by fusing over it various mineral substances. The beauty of the article depends on the skill and resources of the worker and the excellence of the materials employed. The range of colors obtained on gold is much greater than that on silver, copper and brass. There are three forms of enameling including the Cloisonné of Japan and China, the Chamleve pattern of Lucknow and Varanasi, and Jaipur specializing in enameled trays and trinket boxes.
Ideal destinations to shop: Lucknow, Varanasi, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Bihar.
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