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Indian Crafts >> Dhokra Metal Casting
Dhokra Metal Casting
Indian Crafts - Dhokra Metal Casting
History of Dhokra Metal Casting

The Ghawa or Dhokra kumar tribes are the traditional metal workers of West Bengal. The Dhokras of West Bengal, Bihar and Orissa are distant cousins of the Madhya Pradesh Dhokras and they all perhaps belong to a tribal group of that area, who, for some reason, took to the road a few hundred years ago and travelled even as far south as Kerla and as far north as Rajasthan.
Fine Art
Dhokra metal casting is one of the oldest crafts, the technique used is cire-perdue or lost wax process. Figures of birds and animals, images of divinities in elaborate shapes, bowls, caskets etc. have a primitive simplicity.The small images of Lakshmi, her mount the owl, Lakshmi Narayan riding on an elephant, Radha and Krishna in different attitudes, all made in a very strong and primitive folk style. These images were installed in the house-hold shrines of newly married Hindu couples to bring prosperity and happiness.
Procedure
The Dhokras use a lost - wax process to cast hollow brass objects and images. The essence of the process is to model the object in wax, each one individually, around a hardened clay core which has approximately the shape of the object to be cast. Layers of soft, refractory material are laid over the wax model and hardened into a mould. The wax between the core and the mould is lost or burnt out as the mould is heated. Then molten metal takes its place and hardens between the core and the inner surface of mould which holds a negative impression of the wax model in all its detail. The outer surface of the hardened metal, therefore, reproduce the shape and details of the original wax model, with the core producing the hollow interior. The hard core and the mould become spongy and soft on firing and are easily removed.
Resources
Basic Material : Wax, clay, mould
Decorative Material
Artifacts
Figures of animals & birds, images of diversities, bowls, caskets, lamps

Indian Crafts : History of Dhokra Metal Casting