Metals have always been a favorite material for creating stunning pieces of jewelry, handicrafts and other artistic items. India commands a unique position in the world, in the arena of arts and crafts, especially in creating highly attractive handicrafts and other related works of great value and aesthetic appeal. There are many sources used for making unique artifacts and metal is one of them.
Metal craft has been in existence right from our ancient times, and some of the rare metal idols command great price in the international market. This is the significance of metal crafts, made in India by expert artisans.The process of oxidation refers to a form of conversion coating which is done for ferrous materials as well as stainless steel, copper and few other copper-based alloys. Even zinc, powdered metals, and silver solder are used in this process. It is done for creating exquisite mythological figures and idols, with mild corrosion resistance and for the sake of fine appearance. The process of oxidation also involves impregnating with oil or wax.
The process of Oxidation is related to the application of a black finish, to one or more extent, wherein the artifacts are immersed in an oxidizing solution like potassium sulphide or other chemical solutions that enhances its appearance. Artisans of Telangana, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and few other regions in India are skilled in this process, which is used for creating attractive and artistic metal craft items. This form of treatment is also called as patina wherein it is only a surface treatment and it doesn’t alter the internal characteristics of these metals.
Indian artisans are skilled in the process of oxidation and the end products are highly appealing in the domestic handicrafts, jewelry and art market. Oxidation process actually creates contrast in the mold and is hence used a background for highlighting a raised element in a particular design. The oxidized form of sterling silver shows a lovely matte blackish surface and it ushers wonderful gun metal luster. The process of oxidizing silver turns the surface of metals into black. Even Sulphur is used for the purpose of oxidizing black metal artifacts.
A shiny finish which is imparted for oxidized black metal is very appealing as it ushers an aura of classic appearance. The artisans involved come up with new intricate and delicate carvings in the modern era, which only enhance the attractiveness of artifacts. The artisans involved in the making are highly skilled, wherein these idols resemble very close to real images with highly decorative carvings and clear expressions in different angles. The superior shine, classy finish and appealing carvings makes them quite popular among other metal crafts. The idols of Lakshmi, Radha Krishna, Sai Baba, Ganesha, Laughing Buddha, Nataraj, Lord Venkateshwara. Goddess Saraswathi and other idols like that of Horse, Cow etc., are created with oxidized metals.