A single glance at a particularly stunning vase or a mesmerising jewellery box is enough to widen eyes in wonder and awe in appreciation of the art, the efforts taken by an anonymous craftsman and the sheer beauty of the creation that is in front of you. Sounds familiar? A Bidri product makes us feel the same way, too. The fine art of metal ornamentation, Bidri transforms metal objects into one-of-a-kind collectables in a way that you almost expect some kind of magic involved!
Bidri products are so much more than just striking objets d’art and heirlooms of design. For a peek into what actually goes behind creating just one fascinating Bidri product, read on.
A handicraft that proudly reflects its inception from centuries ago, Bidri dates back to the reign of the Bahamani Sultans in Bidar, Karnataka, all the way back in the 14th century. Incidentally, the very busy town of Bidar is still the centre for the manufacture of Bidri products, and it gives the art form its name, too! Holding a place of high importance in the world of South Indian crafts, Bidri is an exotic blend of the design styles of Turkey, Persia, and other Arabic countries. This exotic blend and its intricate inlay work ensure a position of significance in India’s export for Bidri today, just as it has from hundreds of years.
While this symbol of wealth and position is a blend of several design styles, Bidri motifs do have one thing in common— they are all significantly influenced and inspired by geometric and floral designs, as well as Mughal motifs. While Bidri artisans and craftsmen have and continue to experiment with different design styles and modern motifs and patterns, traditional designs continue to be in great demand. This means that the process can take several days in a row, but that’s the beauty of Bidri— the intricate inlaying of metals illustrates the exclusivity and uniqueness of this art form.
Though the process can be a little technical to understand, there are quite a few awe-inspiring facts about creating Bidri products that are worth knowing— don’t be surprised if you love Bidri even more after knowing and understanding the efforts that are taken in order to create it!
Made from metal that is a blend of processed zinc and copper, Bidri products can be created only when it is melted at a temperature of 800 ⁰F. Once it is ready to be inlaid with ornamenting wires, a craftsman draws his motifs by hand, using a tool known as a stylus. The motifs are then inlaid using dazzling silver wires, a process that can take up to several days in a row.
For a finishing and special touch, Bidri artisans source a unique kind of soil from the 300-year old Bidar fort, where neither sunlight nor rainfall touches the ground. This soil is boiled and applied to the product to help the silver wires stand out against the blackened surface, creating a glittering picture. Finally, every Bidri product is rubbed with coconut oil for a smooth and shiny finish.
The entire process can be seen the below image, from moulding, marking, inlaying and Bidri soil application.
Isn’t it fascinating to see the wondrous process behind a product that never fails to dazzle the eyes? CuroCarte has handpicked and sourced the most exclusive Bidri products that are a chic blend of traditional and contemporary, aesthetics and utility, only for you. Intrigued? Take your pick now from our Bidri Collection.