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Thursday, May 8, 2008

Game Boards in Bidri Craft

Bidricraft is a well known craft of 'Koftagiri'- inlaying of a light metal on a dark one, technically known as damascening, here the dark metal plate is an alloy of zinc, copper, tin and lead. Zinc in bulk forms the base, the design is drawn with a free hand on the surface, then engraved with a sharp chisel in varying depths as demanded by the design. Then silver wire or pieces of sheet are embedded on the chiselled patterns by hammering, finally the artefact is dipped in a hot solution of saltpetre containing clay and ammonia to turn the zinc into a lovely velvety black and the silver retains its white brilliant colour.

Excerpted from Handicarfts of India

by Kamala Devi chattopadhyaya


The craftsmen of bidriware concentrated in Bidar and adjoining areas make a variety of objects like boxes, ashtrays, stationery items, vases etc. The team of designers at RKP have designed these game boards using following techniques used by the artisans.


Tarkashi - inlay of wire

Tainishan - inlay of sheets

Zarnishan - low relief

Aftabi - cut out designs on overlaid metal sheet


In the game board of 'Elephants and Men' (the board in the centre of the picture), silver wires were thinned to the required girth by drawing them through diamond-drilled holes in the steel plate and then inlaid into the outline of the chiselled game pattern using tarkashi technique. The border has been beautifully inlaid in the famous 'phuljari' design.


Design : H.S. Dharmendra, RKP

Crafts person : Abdul Hakeem, Bidar

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

hi, im a jewellery designer. i loved the bidri craft and would want to explore it further. is there any way i could contact you? i would love to take it a step ahead.
thanking you
ashita khosla
(e-mail:ashitakhosla2003@hotmail.com)

RG said...

[Ashita Khosla] Happy to receive your comment. I would be glad if I could be of assistance towards development of crafts, especially bidri craft in this scenario. I will contact you on your email giving details as required by you. Thank you.

preetha said...

Hi, I am Preetha Nair I am into designing and developing accent Pcs... love as an Bidri craft and had been looking for some one who can help me to get it touch with the original craftsmans.

My email Id is : preethanair.goodearth@gmail.com

PA said...

Wodnerfull!! So far I have some india hand made board games from Kala Raksha (from Sophie Ahmed) and using them during metings and presentations about the history of board gamers or just to present indian board games. Those ones are just... amazing. Dreaming that some day I might have'em and use'em in my museum's work with children.... Once again - beautifull!!!
Piotr Adamczyk
piotr.adamczyk@muzeum.elblag.pl