Enameling is the art of colorings or decorating a metal surface by attaching or fusing pieces of different mineral substances, over it. Enameling is considered the most alluring and technical of all metal decorations. In the past enameling was only done on gold, but presently it is done other metals like silver, copper etc
The art of decorating metal with enameling or Meenakari was alien to India and was introduced by the Mughals. Raja Man Singh of Amber brought Meenakari to Rajasthan at the turn of the 16th century. Man Singh brought skillful minakars from the Mughal palace at Lahore and established them in Jaipur, which became the center of Meenakari.
The technique of Meenakari requires a high degree of skill and application. The piece of metal on which meenakari is to be done is fixed on a lac stick. Delicate designs of flowers, birds, fish etc are etched or engraved on it. This leads to the creation of walls or grooves, to hold color. Enamel dust of required color is then poured into the grooves and each color is fired individually. The heat of the furnace melts the color and the coloured liquid gets spread equally into the groove. This process is repeated with each colour.
As each color is individually fired, colors, which are most heat resistant, are applied first, as they are re-fired with each additional color. As a rule, white is the first color applied, and red the last.
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