Karimnagar region in Telangana is home to many highly skilled artists who practise the delicate craftsmanship called filigree. In India, there are many traditional communities, which are associated with few delicate metal alloy and decoration works and these are usually passed from several generations. One such exquisite art work is Silver Filigree, also called as ‘vendi teega pani’ in Telugu.
Filigree, called earlier as filigrann or filigrene represents a delicate form of jewellery metalwork, and it is usually made of gold and silver. The roots of Filigree can also be traced back to the Italian and French metalwork from 17th to 19th century. The English word filigree is derived from the Latin word "filum" which means thread and "granum" means grain that signifies a small bead. The artisans of Karimnagar display fine mastery wherein they twist the delicate silver wire into delicate loops. These are knitted in a form of zigzag pattern which results in an intricate lace like appearance.
The silver used in the art is extracted through a series of smaller holes for producing the fine strings of silver threads. The string is the special element in the filigree jewellery. The pieces of work are accompanied by tiny beads or twisted threads, or both of these in combination. These are soldered together to the surface of a same metal object and arranged in the form of artistic motifs.
The silversmiths separate 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 artefacts are made of alloy containing more than 90% Silver and for several decades the artisans have maintained the craft by updating themselves with the latest trends in designs.
Traditional items made with this includes figures of animals, birds as well as flowers. The artisans are skilled in creating many articles using Silver Filigree such as Spoons, cigarette cases, buttons boxes, ashtrays, jewellery, buttons pill boxes, paan dans and also perfume containers. They create special designs involving Peacock, parrots and fish which are clearly depicted in the perfume containers. Karimnagar Silver Filigree also received the Intellectual property rights protection or Geographical Indication (GI) status in 2007. The delicate filigree work of Silver Filigree is therefore considered as a great craft which is widely popular.