Metalwork has flourished all over India in different states in their own means of forms and perfections. Metals, due to their malleable, ductile and ubiquitous nature have generated enormous artists and employees to work upon them according to their needs. Since ages people have experimented with metals and thus have evolved several art forms around metals. In Dindori, Madhya Pradesh, metalwork was introduced by the Agaria tribe and is flourishing till date . Gram Kureli, situated in Samnapur block of district is one among the best traditional manufactures of metal crafts. These items are made out of nonferrous metals (Extracted from stones by artists) which being lighter in weight, has its own benefits. Also the items made are used during auspicious occasions in most of the households in India.
Mr.Vijay Dhurve is one such metalwork practitioner who resides in Kureli, and has inherited this craft from his father and started to work on these from the age of ten. He owns a workshop space where he employs 25 other skilled members in production of beautiful bell metal utensils. Mr. Vijay’s family also takes an active part in making this craft. The product they manufacture goes to the market directly or through exhibitions at various places.
The tools and raw materials used to make the metal crafts includes tools such as Hammers, Pincers used in picking and holding the hot metal pieces, file used for smoothening the edges of the metal utensils, Craper; used in scraping the metal utensil to even and level the surface, Lathe; a rotator equipped with a motor to generate constant motion for finishing a metal utensil etc. The process of making crafts with metals starts with the pre-heating of iron on open furnace to make the metal soft and malleable. Thereafter it is hammered repeatedly with big hammers in rhythm by three to four people to get into its desired shape on a stone platform with one person rotating the ingot piece to acquire the even dents. The metal is annealed or heat forged in regular intervals between hammering with the purpose of keeping the metal soft enough for further process.
Then metal is further heated to give it desirable shape by hammering. Small shapes are made then they are joined to make the desired shape.