Brass ware of moradabad
- The Thinges are manually made as well.Cast pieces are finished by sandpaper.
- The intricate ornamentation is a legacy of the Mughals.
(IIP) - MORADABAD IS A leading cluster for art brass ware in the country.Brass,valued for its golden lustre,is sandcast and the
various levels of production are handled by specialized craftsmen. The dhaliyas,metal caste,casts the pieces,while the sheet
metal workers and engravers have their own workshops.The entire process of production along with ornamentation usually takes
4 to 6 weeks. Kalamkari, Urdu for engraving and pen work, is done with controlled strokes of the thapi,mallet,on fine
pointed chisels.The craftsman engraves from memory unless a new design is asked for.The engraving is shallow,called naqqashi
or sada kalam,and deep engraving,called khudai or sia kalam.In khudai the designs are marori,intricate,and the chased
depressions are filled in with coloured lac.The lac sticks are heated and applied to the metal.The design gleams in golden
tracery against the translucent jewel-coloured lac.Naqqashi is sometimes done on a tinned surface.Traditional styles are
mostly floral arabesques.Ornamentation,however,is limited to decorative and dowry items since domestic utensils are scoured
with mud or ash after use.A traditional product that needs special mention is the paandaan,made by casting heavy-gauge sheet
metal,either copper or brass.
The Thinges are manually made as well.Cast pieces are finished by sandpapering on the lathe.They come in all shapes and
sizes ,such as miniature vintage cars.The size of the paandaans and the ornamentation reflect the social standing of a
bride`s family.The intricate ornamentation is a legacy of the Mughals who also introduced newer designs.During Shah Jahan`s
reign the brass ware of Moradabad was exported to Iran,Turkey and the Middle East.Aligarh and Jalesar are two other
important centres of brass work in Uttar Pradesh.Craftsmen in Aligarh cast brass locks,statuettes,ornamental door handles
and fittings.Jalesar is known for cast bells made in brass.