Everything About Bidri Jewellery And Its Manufacturing Process
When we talk about Karnataka, we often admire the beautiful Silk Sarees or the Classical Karnatic music that is truly heartfelt, while it is also home to some of the most incredible jewellery art forms that date back to centuries and have shaped the development and tourism in the state. One such important ancient art form is the Bidri Art which originated during the Persian regime in the 14th century and is a popular export item for India. The name Bidri comes from the region Bidar in Karnataka, which still remains the principle manufacturing zone for this art. The designs for this are inspired by both, Indian and International themes.
I met Mr. Rakesh Nageshwar from Karnataka at the Craft Pavilion organized by Gem and Jewellery Skill Council of India (GJSCI), at India International Jewellery Show (IIJS) in August 2019 at Mumbai. He has been designing and manufacturing jewellery and handicrafts inspired by this art for years. Here is the detailed interview where Mr. Rakesh discusses the Bidri Art with me.
Know everything about Bidri Art from this brief step-by-step process.
- High-quality alloy mix of zinc and copper are used to create the base of the jewellery.
- The hollow clay moulds or dyes of choice are prepared and the alloy base is poured into them to give them the desired shape which only takes a few minutes.
- Once the shape of the jewellery/artefact is achieved, the metal goes through a filling process to attain smooth edges.
- The designs on the smooth base metal are handcrafted using the inlay process, where pure silver wires are fixed onto the alloy as per the engraved design.
- The metal with the silver fitted is again filled for ensuring that there are no rough edges. The smoothness of the jewellery piece is further reinforced with the buffing machine.
- The soil from the Bidar fort is mixed with copper-sulphate and water to make a solution. This solution is heated to a boiling point and then poured over the jewellery or the artwork is immersed into this solution for 10-15 seconds.
Whoa! look at the magic, there is a new look altogether!
This is where you can see the transformation as the copper in the artwork turns to a pitch-black color and the silver wires turn to a white color, intensifying the silver design inlaid onto the metal. This transformation is so amazing to watch that this technique is also used to create the holy Idols at various temples in Karnataka.
The jewellery pieces and the art work has adapted the modern take and there are very classic and stylish pieces of Bidri work available in the market which are custom designed for the clients. This has taken this art form on its path to revival and it has also obtained Geographical Indications (GI) registry as it is native art form of the Bidar region.
About GJSCI: Gem & Jewellery Skill Council of India (GJSCI) is the nodal entity for skill development of the Indian Gems & Jewellery industry. It covers skilling under all the areas and functions of the industry such as diamond processing, colored gemstone processing, jewellery manufacturing, wholesale, retail and exports.