Metal craft is one of Indian’s ancient crafts, which have existed from thousands of years. Metal and metal alloys like Bronze &Brass have been used since ages to create appealing art forms. Telangana state needs no special introduction for its popular and unique handicrafts and art works. The popularity of metal crafts is well-known as they have a uniqueness of their own.
Bidriware is a renowned metal handicraft that derives its name from Bidar, presently in Karnataka. It was believed to have originated in 14th century AD during the reign of Bahamani Sultans.The Bahamani sultans had ruled Bidar during the 14th and 15th century AD. This art which was earlier practiced in ancient Persia was brought to India by the followers of Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti. The art form developed due to a mix of Persian and Arabic cultures and after the fusion with local style, a new and unique style of its own was created. The Nizam of Hyderabad introduced the art form in Aurangabad, which was part of Nizam’s Hyderabad state before 1947.
The makers of Bidriware create designs like flowers, leaves and also geometric designs, stylized poppy plants, human figures etc. Bidriware is also used for making paan holders, hookahs, and vases as well as bowls, ornament boxes, earrings, trays and other jewellery and showpiece items.
Dhokra or Dokra, is also known as bell metal craft. It is a form of ancient tribal metal craft practiced in Ushegaon village of Jainoor Mandal, Adilabad District of Telangana. In Telangana, they are also known as Ojjis who make brass metal art objects using the complex but the perfect lost-wax technique for casting of the metal. The technique of lost wax casting is being practiced in India for more than 4000 years and even to this day, it is in use by these craftsmen. The Dokra artefacts, mainly made in brass are highly unique wherein the pieces do not have any form of joints. The entire object is fully handcrafted with traditional designs being considered highly aesthetic in nature and a collector’s delight. The handicrafts are known for combining the metallurgical skills with wax technique for making artefacts of distinctive look and beauty. The lost wax technique is a distinct form where the mould is used only once and broken, which makes the figure one of its kind in the handicraft market.
Pembarthi Metal Craft is a popular metal handicraft made in Pembarthi village of Warangal district. The place is situated about 80 km from Hyderabad andis widely known for the special sheet metal art works. Pembarthi craftsmen create decorated individual items such as betel nut cases or paandaans, perfume containers or Ittar pots, hanging metal Chandeliers or Jhummars, vases, special plaques and mementos. The craft form has received the prestigious Geographical Indication, which is indeed an honour for the craft. The brassware of this rural hamlet is considered ideal for gifting as souvenirs, mementos and memorabilia etc.
Karimnagar region in Telangana is home to many highly skilled artists who practice the delicate craftsmanship called filigree.The silversmiths are skilled in creating many articles through Silver Filigree such as Spoons, cigarette cases, buttons boxes, ashtrays, jewelry, buttons pill boxes, paandans and also perfume containers. They create special designs involving Peacock, parrots and fish which are clearly depicted in the perfume containers.
Filigree work, which is made using the twisted silver wire ushers a rare charm. The silversmiths crimp the thin strips of fine silver and create loops that are filled with designs formed by thicker and attractive silver strips. These strips and fine silver are further deftly soldered. The versatility of the art is not restricted or limited by tradition. The art has been extended from jewelry to other household articles these days like tea-trays, ornament containers, key chains and even cigarette boxes.