Bidri Craft (Hyderabad)
Bidri is an art from Hyderabad which takes its meaning from the town of Bidar, located near Hyderabad. Bidri is a form of surface ornamentation in black colors, which never fades and is coated with silver and gold coverings.
Gunmetal, which is an alloy of Zinc and Copper is used for Bidri. The manufacturers use various moulds to give shape to the gun metal. Saline mud is kept out of sun light and air for almost 100 years and is used as oxidizing agent to give shine to the metal.
Flower vases, Cigar and Jewellery boxes and Huqqa buttons are the most sought after products of Bidri craft. Items like key chains, cuff links, paper weights, and paper knives are other Bidri craft which are used as gift articles.
Bidri craft belongs to the the city of Hyderabad in Andhra Pradesh. It basically involves silver inlay on metal, which is very exquisite. There are many legends related to its entry and exit into the country and then to Andhra Pradesh.
Stages In Bidri Making
Behind the breathtaking beauty of Bidri, lies hours of meticulous effort by the artisans. The original technique involved the inlaying of gold or silver on a steel or copper base. This method had its origins in Persia. However, the metal used for the base today is an alloy of zinc and copper. The black colour is the result of the heating the zinc and copper surface gently and applying sal ammoniac with old fort earth. It is engraved or overlaid with silver or brass.
There are four main stages in the manufacture of Bidri. They are casting, engraving, inlaying and oxidizing.
WHERE TO SHOP
Bidri Crafts, Gun foundry, Hyderabad.
Lepakshi Handicrafts Emporium, Gun foundry, Hyderabad & Minerva Complex, S.D.Road, Secunderabad.
Kalanjali Arts & Crafts, Nampally, Hyderabad.
Sheela's Indian Handicrafts Specialists, Lal Bahadur Stadium, Hyderabad
Mahboob Bidri Works, Masab Tank, Opposite Diamond Sweet House Hyderabad.
Cauvery Karnataka State Arts & Crafts Emporium, Seven Hills Plaza, S.D. Road,
Central Cottage Industries Emporium, Minerva Complex, S.D. Road, Secunderabad.
Crafts Museum Calcutta Emporium, Behind Lepakshi, Gunfoundry, Hyderabad.
The price range of Bidri articles is from a mere Rs. 30 to as much as Rs. 30,000, depending on the quality of the metal used and the design of the articles.