Dhokra or bell metal craft is a tribal craft that combines metallurgical skills with wax technique to create things of distinctive beauty. The same technique had been used by the Mohenjodaro craftsman to cast the bronze figurine of a dancing girl some 4500 years agoTradition-.The dhokra craftsmen belong to the Woj community (India) and make idols of local deities-Janghubhai,Bheemdev and Persiphen. The craft has travelled from the Bastar region of Chhatisgarh (India) which is contiguous to Andhra Pradesh and Orissa, and west bengal, and shares a common vocabulary seen in the slender and elongated metal figurines.
Technique-The artisans make bronze and brass objects by an ancient casting technique called dhokra, wherein a clay model is made as the core, over which, wax threads are wrapped around to form a layer.This is again covered by another layer of clay that is equipped with an opening.Molten bronze or brass is poured into this which melts the wax completely,replacing it with brass or bronze.The cast object requires the mould to be broken each time and therefore each object is unique Current situation-The artisans take only order based work as they do not have financial resources to procure raw material and maintain inventory. It is a very labour intensive product therefore, the artisans work only on orders on which they take some advance to procure raw material. The designs are traditional.
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