Dokra metal art is a traditional form of metal casting that originated in the tribal regions of India, particularly in the states of West Bengal, Odisha, and Jharkhand. It is named after the Dokra tribe, who are skilled metalworkers and artisans known for creating exquisite metal sculptures using the lost wax casting technique.
A Dokra Metal Ghungroo Elephant Showpiece is a decorative item crafted using the Dokra technique, featuring an elephant motif adorned with ghungroos. The elephant, a symbol of strength and wisdom in Indian culture, is a popular subject in Dokra art.
The process of creating Dokra metal art involves several stages. First, a clay model of the desired sculpture is created, capturing the intricate details and design. Then, a layer of beeswax mixed with resin is applied to the clay model, and additional details are added using various tools.
Next, a clay mould is prepared around the wax model, and it is left to dry. Once the mould is ready, it is heated, causing the wax to melt and flow out through small openings, leaving a hollow space within the mould.
Now comes the actual casting process. Molten metal, typically a blend of brass, bronze, and zinc, is poured into the mould through the openings left by the melted wax. The metal fills the hollow space, taking the shape of the original clay model.
After the metal cools and solidifies, the outer clay mould is broken, revealing the metal sculpture within. The surface of the sculpture is then cleaned, polished, and sometimes patinated to achieve the desired colour and finish.
In the case of a Dokra Metal Ghungroo Elephant Showpiece, the final step involves attaching small ghungroos, which are tiny bells traditionally worn by dancers, to the sculpture. These ghungroos add a delightful musical element to the showpiece, enhancing its aesthetic appeal.
Dokra metal art is highly valued for its rustic charm, intricate designs, and the skilful craftsmanship involved. Each piece is unique and handmade, making it a prized possession for art collectors and enthusiasts. The Dokra Metal Ghungroo Elephant Showpiece, in particular, showcases the fusion of traditional metal casting techniques with elements of Indian culture and craftsmanship.