Metalware of Gujarat

Metalware of Gujarat


Gujarat has a wide range of brass objects made by the kansara community. The storage and chests used by the kathi community in Saurashtra are known as dhablo or katordan. Small containers with engraved designs in brass and beaten copper are used to store jewels, dates, nuts, and turbans. The nut-crackers have animal, bird, and floral motifs; the other items made are kohl containers, pen boxes, foot scrapers with bells, perfume bottles, and cosmetic containers. The main centres of metal ware in Gujarat are Jamnagar, Wadhwan, Visnagar, and Sihor. Large temple bells are a speciality of Sihor and the famous temple bell at Girnar Hill weighing 240 kg was made here. Dabhoi is noted for large temple drums made of copper. Visnagar is famous for repoussť work. Brass furniture is a speciality of this area. Low stool, tables and low armchairs are some of the highly-carved items of furniture made here. Trellis work and statuary in brass are found in palaces and temples in this area. The highly intricate workmanship of the artisans of Kutch and Rajkot expresses itself in the art of aluminium engraving. The article to be engraved is first moulded to a required shape and size; it is then filled with kil and the outlines of the design are marked on its surface. The actual engraving is done with the help of a chisel The article is then heated to remove the kil. The rough inner surface is smoothened and washed with acid. Glittering trays, surahis, cups, and shields, all with brilliant designs, are crafted. Engraved silver articles of Gujarat are a speciality. The articles to be engraved are moulded into required sizes and shapes. The article is then filled with a kind of mud and the outlines of the designs to the worked in are marked on the surface of the vessel. Engraving is done with the help of engraving tools and a hammer. The item is then washed with acid to get a shine. Trays, photo frames, cups, shields, surahis, and paandans are some of the items produced.

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