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