DHOKRA BRONZES

Antique lock in the shape of Hanuman

Antique lock in the shape of Hanuman

We have found some great tribal lost wax bronze castings made in the thousands of years old traditional way – some are recently made and some we purchased from a private collection of antiques.
Known as Dhokra, this is an ancient craft that scholars believe to be at least 4500 years old. Artisans in the Indian states of Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Orissa and West Bengal are still using this method to create jewelry, vessels, images of gods, goddesses, animals and birds and works from the imagination. Many are farmers who supplement their income in the summer months when the beeswax used to create the fine detail is supple and easy to work.

Using a coarse clay the artisan first makes a core vaguely resembling the end product. The clay core is hardened either by drying in the sun or by mildly firing in an oven. Bees-wax is drawn into strips and thin wires which the artisan wraps around the clay core to produce the detailed artwork. The form is then coated with a thin layer of very fine wet clay which is sun dried, and further layers of clay added. The mold is now ready to use. A clay funnel is added for molten metal to flow inside the mold. The mold is carefully heated to melt the wax leaving behind a cavity (hence the name lost-wax technique). Then the cavity is filled with molten metal and is left to cool. The clay mold is broken to reveal the finished artwork.
Both men and women make Dhokra.

Three men in a boat

Three men in a boat

Go to KASU EMPORIUM to see our collection of Dhokra bronzes >>

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