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What is Bidriware?

Art is expressed by the creative and hardworking hands of artisans to create eccentric handcrafted pieces of art, imbibing the culture and tradition of that place like the Bidriware. Just as the name of this handicraft goes, this famous metal handicraft originated from Bidar, a district in Karnataka. Presently, Hyderabad is considered as the most vibrant center for the production of this form of craft. But how did this form of art originate in India?

How did this form of art originate?

The origin of this art form was discovered by Bahmani Sultans who reigned in Bidar in the 14th-15th century. This handicraft possesses a unique amalgamation of the Turkish, Persian and Arabic designs. Though there is no proper source on how this handicraft emerged, it is believed that this craft was brought to India in the 12th century by the followers of Khwaja Muinuddin Chisty.

These artisans came all the way from Iran (ancient Persia) and scattered themselves to different parts of the country, a few of them, who were successful at impressing Sultan Ahmed Shah, the then ruler of Bahmani dynasty, were called upon to teach this art form to the local artists. Now, having known the history, Aren’t we curious to know the secret materials used to make this beautiful form of handicraft?

The Process and Materials used to create these intricate pieces

Bidriware is basically made of an alloy of zinc and copper, in which artistic designs are etched. Traditionally, the Bidriware products go through a long eight-step process. The steps involved are as follows, the first one being moulding followed by smoothing using a file. Then follows the process of forming the designs by chiseling and engraving. The most interesting step is inlaying of silver followed by smoothing, buffing and finally, oxidizing the product by soil and ammonium chloride.

The Collection at Kalanjali

Kalanjali provides sterling silver inlay bindri work. The oxidized black surface of an alloy of zinc and copper forms a beautiful background for the designs which are inlaid in shining silver wire. This unique craft offers a wide range of articles including boxes, vases, trays and stationery.

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