It has proved its ‘metal’

ST Correspondent
Tuesday, 4 July 2017

 “The name Bidri has come from Bidar region in Karnataka. Earlier, the artisans used the mud of Bidar fort to craft this ware — hookahs, water jars etc. Now, we have tried to give contemporary touch to the art by crafting jewellery pieces, artefacts etc.”

Black and white always makes for an impressive and interesting combination. The Bidriware, which has inlays of silver and gold on oxidised zinc, is eye-catching for sure. An introductory workshop to the traditional art, which came to India from Iran in 14th century, was recently held at Pagdandi Books Chai Cafe in the city.

From Bidar, Karnataka, master artist Mohammad Salimuddin and his group, demonstrated the techniques of art form. Says Salimuddin, “The name Bidri has come from Bidar region in Karnataka. Earlier, the artisans used the mud of Bidar fort to craft this ware — hookahs, water jars etc. Now, we have tried to give contemporary touch to the art by crafting jewellery pieces, artefacts etc.”

The workshop, which was presented by Heart of Art, a public charitable trust, explained the step by step process of crafting the metal. The steps include moulding, filing, chiseling, engraving, silver laying,buffing and oxidising. The material used includes zinc metal, silver, gold, copper and brass inlay, and tools like chisels, buffing machine, taar patti, hammer, hand tools compass, and small hand drill machines, design the craft pieces.  

Salimuddin, who is in the profession for two decades, says, “I have been conducting several workshops across the country and abroad too — including Berlin, France, Australia and Dubai. The Bidri art can be learned in two weeks, but the finesse of the craft works comes with practise and sharpening the skills.” 

Besides the workshop, Salimuddin and his team, also displayed jeweleries — bangles, earrings — designer show pieces, utility items like gift boxes, paper weight, which were in the price range of Rs 200-Rs 5000, at the venue.  

Harleen Dhillon, who is a jewellery designer, found the workshop very interesting. “I design my jewelery  and so I was keen to learn new forms, techniques and tools used in Bidri art,” says she. Another participant, Nakiya Haideri also learnt a lot from the hands-on approach of the workshop.

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