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The Ancient Process Of "BIDRI WARE" Bidri Crafts: Manufacturer,Sales,Import & Export.Introduction: Sultans of the 14th to 17th century india were great patrons of the art of bidri.Thr national museum in delhi and the salar jung museum in hyderabad possess exellent and varied collections of the craft.
The basic material of bidriware is an alloy of zine and copper in the proportion 16:1 upon this alloy artistic design in the pure silver are inlaid.
Each bidri piece is cast separately from ordinary soil made malleable with castor oil and rresin,a mold is formed and the molten metal alloy is then poured into it.the surface of a newly cast peice is rough,so it is made smooth with filed and scrapers.
Then the artist rubs the piece with abit of copper sulphate to obtain atemporary balck coating on which to etch the design.All design are drawn free-hand with asharp metal stylus.
Next,with the bidri piece firmly fixed on a waxed stone or held in a vise,the crafts man uses small chisels to engrave the design.into these chiselles groves the carefully hemmers pure silver in the form of fine wire or flat sheeting.
After the inlay work is completed,the article is rigorously filed smooth again,and buffed,obliterating the temporary black coating so that the intricate silver inlay work can hardly be distinguished in the gleaming silver coloured alloy.
Now the bidri item is ready for the final step of making the surface permenantly black,so that the silver inlay design will stand out in bright contrast against the dark background.there is a particular type of soil found in the inner depths fo ruins which are three hundred years old,in the buildings were niether sunlight nor rain has fallen for hundered of years.
This soil ,when the mixed with ammonium chloride and water produces a very special paste which is rubbed onto the heated bidri article.the paste darkens the body of the piece but has no effect on thesilver inlay.
As the paste is rinshed off the design springs dramatically into view, the shinng silver replendent againstthe black surface.
Finally oil is rubbed on the piece to deepen the black matt coating.With proper maintenance,bidri items can be kept bright and beautiful idefinitely,use silver polish to shine the silver inlay.then rub pure vegetable oil over the entire surface water not harm bidri piece but soap and salt should be avoided as they can spot the thin black surface.