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