Bidri art is a decorative handicraft which has originated in Bidar district of Hyderabad Karnataka. Its origin can be traced back to the regime of Bahmani kings who ruled in that region between the fourteenth and the sixteenth centuries. The kings invited skilled artisans from Iran to attend to the artistic and miniature work in their grand architectural constructions such as Rangeen Mahal. These innovative craftsmen discovered the ‘Pachras mixture’ which is prepared by mixing a particular kind of clay indigenous to this place with non-ferrous metals such as zinc, copper and tin. Bidri art essentially consists of intricate silver inlay work on the surface of arte facts produced by this ‘Pachras Mixture’.  Very intricate designs are engraved on the surfaces with the help of innovative tools. After that, thin sheets of silver foils are hammered in to the grooves created by the tools. Later the surface is smoothened with the help of a buffing machine. At this stage the original grey colour of the alloy mixture turns to brilliant black after the application of clay and some chemicals. The final sheen and polish is achieved by a coat of coconut oil. There are other modes of manufacture also. In one of them silver foils are mixed with the ‘Pachras Mixture’ when it is in its liquid form. In yet another mode, silver wires are used instead of silver foils. In the fourth method the vessel is covered with silver foil and the designs are drawn on the foil. After that the pictures are engraved with the help of a small chisel. Many a time a single Bidri arte fact uses more than one method.

            The traditional designs for the bidri ware are usually inspired by the drawings and sculpture of the Ajantha caves as also the designs on the walls of the Bidri fort. Consequently many motifs are taken from Buddhism. Water jugs, flowerpots, ash trays, plates, vessels to store betel nuts and leaves, (pAn-dAn) hookahs and plates are some of the artefacts produced by these craftsmen. 


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                   4.  Conservation of cultural objects: Asian materials and techniques-


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