Brass Craft



The discovery of metals made the lives of man easy as the metal products proved to be such a great help for them that they successfully completed some impossible tasks. India is well known for its beautiful brass craft, which covers a wide range of products, ranging from decoration items to utility ware. India, in fact, is one of the largest brass makers in the world. The art of brass craft has been practiced for almost 5 million years, say historians.

What is Brass?

Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc. A diverse range of brass can be created simply by varying the proportion of these two ingredients. Brass has a yellow color that is somewhat similar to gold. It is also fairly resistant to tarnishing

Advantages of Brass

Brass has several characteristic properties that make it the ideal choice for art and craft.

  • It is a long lasting metal
  • It requires little maintenance
  • Its color, which is similar to gold, gives it a very attractive appearance
  • It can be of varying degrees of hardness or softness. This makes it malleable, and easy to engrave.
  • It does not tarnish very easily. Brass handicrafts are, hence, very popular in coastal areas.

Brass craft objects can have two types of finishes: highly polished and antique polished. Highly polished brass handicrafts are bright and shiny. Antique polished brass craft items have an older appearance and are not shiny.

Brass Handicraft Maintenance
  • Brass craft items should not be cleaned with an ammonia based cleaner, as this causes tarnishing. They should be cleaned with a gentle soap and warm water and wiped with a soft dry cloth.
  • If the brass handicraft tarnishes despite having refrained from using ammonia based cleaners, it is possibly steel plated. Confirm with the help of a magnet. If the magnet sticks, it confirms the presence of iron. The tarnish is then most probably rust. This is to be cleaned with steel wool.
  • A brass cleaner can also be used for cleaning brass craft items. Thereafter, the object must be sprayed with clear laquer paint.
Indian Brass Handicraft Centers

Andhra Pradesh : Pembarthi, in the Warangal district of Andhra Pradesh is world-famous for its brass handicrafts. These items reflect the art of the Lepakshi, Orugallu and Ramappa temples situated nearby. Floral motifs, Hindu mythology and the stylized goose are the most popular figures. Tirupati, in the Warangal district is another important center.

Uttar Pradesh : In this northern Indian state are two of the oldest centers of brass craft; namely, Varanasi and Mirzapur. The best known center is Moradabad. The art of brass crafting was introduced when Muslim families arrived in Moradabad with intricate Persian designs and sophisticated tools. Brass craft was patronized by the Mughals and the British.

West Bengal , Orissa , Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh : Artisans from these Indian states use the ancient metal casting technique of Dokra. Wax is used to make the product over a clay core. Thereafter, a clay paste is applied. When it is dry, the wax is replaced by molten metal. This is done using the hollow casting method.

Kashmir : Kashmir handicrafts are famous throughout the world. Brass objects embellished with motifs of almonds, arches, chinar leaf and vines are famous of this region. The ornamental brass stoves of Ladakh are also well-known. These are crafted by hand, and are often combined with silver and copper.

Other centers of brass craft in India are Bihar , Gujarat , Haryana, Rajasthan , Mangalore and Udipi.

Brass Craft Items

There are innumerable objects – both decorative and useful – that have been crafted of brass, or embellished with intricate patterns made of brass. Some of these are:

  • Animal figures
  • Bells
  • Bowls
  • Chandeliers
  • Christmas decorations
  • Coasters
  • Statues and figurines of gods and goddesses, animals and birds.
  • Vases
  • Furniture
  • Garden accessories like planters and pots
  • Lanterns
  • Wind chimes
  • Tableware including crockery, cutlery, napkin rings, trays, jugs
  • Wine chillers and ice-tongs
  • Lampshades and lamp stands
  • Candle holders and wall sconces
  • Key rings
  • Hooks
  • Picture frames
  • Cooking utensils
  • Stationary including paper weights, paper clips and paper cutters
  • Baskets
  • Puja items including diyas (lamps), stands, thali and holders.
  • Bath sets
  • Ashtrays

Handicrafts Trade
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