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Metal Craft in India

What is metal craft? 

As a matter of definition, metalcraft, also called metalwork, is the process of making objects and parts from metal. When we look at the actual process of creating these parts and objects, it gets more complicated.

Metals are usually associated with hardness, sturdiness and solid utility. The use of metals brings to mind construction, large industries and a sense of formidable resistance. But metals are malleable, which means they can be shaped, pressed or hammered without breaking or even cracking. 

This quality of metals makes it a craftsman's delight. And hence Indian metal crafts are popular all over the world. Quite contrary to their sturdy image, metal craft in India exude a combination of style, artistry, as well as, dependability. 

Advantages of learning Metal Crafts

There are several advantages of learning the metal craft skill, in studies and in real life there are countless advantages. With this skill people can open their own workshop and expand their business in this field. It's clearly a money monger be it in the old times or in present times handicrafts and metal crafts had been valued since ancient history.

Metal crafts in India date back to the Indus Valley Civilization. The discovery of the Dancing Girl sealed the fact that people of the sub-continent region were masters at moulding metal for a long time. The legacy of metal works is seen till date in bronze statues of the Chola kingdom or the iron pillar at Mehrauli in Delhi made during Ashoka’s time.

But though the metal crafts of India have been an intrinsic part of the Indian artists and sculptures they have also served their purpose in utilitarian and practical usages. Metals have been widely used to create metal pots, wall hanging, mirror frames, planters, candle stands or holders, pans, frames, locks, key chains etc. are also very common in our cultures. There are large variants of how metals are handled and what they finally turn out to be. 

Types of Metal Crafts of India.

Enameling for example is when a glass substance is fused with metal at high temperatures. A blacksmith shapes the iron to create objects including sculptures, weapons, gates etc. A tinsmith creates utensils out of metal, whereas, a silversmith makes fine items from the silver metal. Where a coppersmith creates objects out of copper and brass, a goldsmith forms valuable designs and objects with gold. 

Indian Metal Arts

There are various uses of metal. But when it comes to recognizing metal arts, there are a few distinct centers in India that are known for their regional metal crafts. 

 Bidri Ware

The most popular is the Bidri ware of Andhra Pradesh. Using zinc and copper first and then overlaying the grooves with silver and gold designs make the Bidri metal art a unique and stunning artistic device. Originating from the town of Bidar, Karnataka the inlaid work of the metal ware is its biggest attraction. 


Pembarti, found in the Warangal district in Telangana, is popular for its sheet metal art. Used extensively during the Kakatiyas Empire, this form of art was used in chariots and in temples. Using brass the art is today used on vases, containers and plaques. 


Dhokra is the technique of using lost-wax casting and the Dancing Girl from Mohenjo Daro is the earliest statue that exists made using this technique. Well-known today, the Dhokra metal craft is most practiced in Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Madhya Pradesh. The statues are made usually from bronze scrap but the interiors are filled with clay. A variety of statues, ranging from figures of horses, elephants, owls, peacocks to religious motifs are made using this form of metal craft. 


Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh is famous for a range of household items made from brass. The items are also widely decorated with intrinsic designs. Similarly, Varanasi is where cast sculptures of deities, as well as household utensils are made using copper and brass. 

Jaipur Metal Craft

Jaipur is the center for lacquering and brass engravings in Rajasthan. Beautiful designs are embossed on the glossy surface of the pots, plates, boxes etc. It is also well-known for bronze sculptures and Koftagiri, which is the art of encrusting one metal with another. 

Metal craft tools


This is one of the most essential tools. And before you even think of anything else, make sure you invest in a good bandsaw used to cut metal. It is a more effective tool than any other such as the cut off wheel. Regardless of how cheap, new, used or expensive this tool is, always make sure you oil it at the time of use.

Cutting Pliers -

When working with hard metal wire, such as in mattress manufacturing, you need to be able to trim ends of wire repeatedly without your tool becoming blunt or tiring out your hands. That’s where high leverage end cutting pliers come in handy, with hardened edges capable of handling hard wire, and the high leverage multiplying your hand force so it doesn’t tire you out.

Hacksaw -

These tools are generally hand saws, but with the correct blade. They are used to simplify tubing, cutting smaller rods of materials and even sheet stock. They are the easiest tools that you can think of using, this is because they don’t require energy. The only thing that is required is a solid hold for the metals that makes it so easy to cut that anyone could expect.

Welder -

This machine is used to join pieces of metals by the technique of melting the metals and then using filler to join them. Being one of the essential tools that is needed to perform metalworking jobs, they are very much available in different types, each depending on the kind of work and the source of power.

Grinders -

This machine is used to grind and polish the metal after undertaking different cutting processes. In addition, the angle grinders can be used to cut your metal into different desired shapes. Considering the type of metal work you are working on, the disks in these grinders can also be changed.

Metal work consists of useful and decorative objects fashioned of various metals including copper, iron, silver, gold, lead, bronze, geld and brass. 

Metal work includes vessels, utensils, ceremonial objects and decorative objects, architectural ornamentation, personal ornament and weapons.

Many of the technical processes in use today are essentially the same. as those employed in ancient times. The early metal worker was familiar, for ex. with hammering, emboxing, chasing, inlaying, gilding, wire drawing etc.

Tools and equipments





Grinding machine 

Drilling machine 

Welding machine


-These are common tools used for Metal work in Metal steel wire (M/s wire), iron, steel, bronze etc in the metal workshops.


Metal craft employs countless people in the industry. It employs artists to labourers in the Industries and workshops.

Observing the workshop in university. There were many tools and equipments of for example- 

Ball - Peen hammer 

Sinking or plate Hammer 

Planishing hammer

Raising hammer

Chasing hammer also used for planishing.

Rawhide mallet 

Ball or mushroom stake

Raising stake

Bick, iron stake

Loose head for bick iron

Cutting pliers.

Flat nose pliers 

Hand drill

Bunsen burner 


Bench vise.

Metal Crafts reflect human skill and ingenuity rather than the use of power devices, manifest the tastes and demands of diverse social and economic classes. In the past, metal crafts were resorted to for making objects for rulers and nobles as well as for their subjects, for both religious and secular purposes. Today objects are made for wealthy citizens, the middle class, and humble households. While religious and secular demands remain constant, objects have become even more disparate in use and form to meet diverse needs.


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