Bidri is a traditional form of metalwork that originated in the city of Bidar, in the Indian state of Karnataka. It is known for its intricate designs and inlay work using a blackened alloy of zinc and copper. The technique involves engraving designs on a metal surface, filling them with a black paste made of powdered brass, and then polishing the surface to create a contrast between the black and silver-colored metal. Bidri ware is typically made into items such as hookahs, boxes, ashtrays, and decorative objects. The craft is said to have been introduced in India by artisans from Iran during the 14th century and has been passed down through generations of artisans in the Bidar region.
Bidri handicrafts are known for their intricate designs, which often feature floral and geometric patterns. The technique of inlay work, known as “Zari Kari” in Bidri, is a labor-intensive process that requires skilled craftsmanship. The metal surfaces are first engraved with a design, and then the grooves are filled with a black paste made of powdered brass. The surface is then polished, creating a contrast between the black and silver-colored metal.
The craft of Bidri has a long history, and it is said to have been introduced to India by artisans from Iran during the 14th century. Over the centuries, the craft has evolved and developed its own unique style, and it has been passed down through generations of artisans in the Bidar region. Today, Bidri handicrafts are recognized and appreciated for their beauty and craftsmanship, and they are highly sought after by collectors and art enthusiasts.
Bidri handicrafts are also popular as souvenirs and are considered to be a luxury item. They are also used as decorative items in homes, offices and in commercial spaces. Bidri handicrafts are also exported to many countries around the world.
The craft is facing some challenges like lack of skilled workforce and lack of awareness among people. The government of India and other organizations are taking efforts to revive the craft and to promote the craftsmanship by providing training and financial aid to the artisans.